'The Big Black Guy Is Headed For The Bathroom': Florida Man Accuses Tampa Bay Starbucks Of Racial Profiling

Lorne Green allegedly heard an employee say "the big Black guy is headed for the bathroom."

Photo credit:Screenshot/Fox 13

| May 15 2019,

9:57 pm

According to WFTS-TV, Lorne Green, 44, is looking to file a civil suit against the popular coffee chain for the incident.

Green, a public insurance adjuster, says the encounter took place on April 22 at a Starbucks located on West Brandon Boulevard. Green says he often attends that Starbucks to make purchases and conduct business meetings. But on that day, Green had to use the washroom before placing his order. As he walked toward the restroom, Green allegedly heard an employee say "the big Black guy is headed for the bathroom." 

“I have never experienced anything like this to this degree. This is extreme," Green, accompanied by his lawyer Jasmine Rand said in a press conference on May 8.

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Rand, a civil rights lawyer who previously represented the family of Trayvon Martin, said the incident happened almost as soon as Green entered the door.

"A few minutes later, this incessant knocking starts, knocking on the door, over and over again, 'Do you need Fire Rescue? Do you need Fire Rescue?'" Rand said at the press conference. 

From the bathroom, Green dialed Starbucks’ corporate office. He was on the phone with them for approximately 22 minutes. Rand played two minutes of the call to reporters at the press conference.

“I used the bathroom and they called the police on me," Green said to the customer service rep in the recorded phone conversation. "And she said I’m a Black male and they called the police on me.” 

"So you feel like this is racially motivated, correct?" the customer service representative responded on the call.

"It is very because I walked in and she immediately, in not even five minutes, she goes, 'a Black male went inside,' and called the police on me before I even got in the bathroom," Green responded.

Green eventually headed out of the washroom and exited the Starbucks. He says Hillsborough deputies issued Green a trespassing ticket at the request of the store employees.

Listen to the exchange between the store employee and police below:

Green told reporters that the incident made him feel "humiliated," defamed and belittled.

“I just feel awful and I tried to make the best out of something that was truly escalating out of control.”

Last year, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized after a viral video showcased two Black men getting handcuffed and escorted out of the coffee shop by Philadelphia police officers for reportedly not buying anything.

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