Lansing women speak out about racial discrimination incident at Denny’s

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Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) – Three local women are planning to take a restaurant chain to court over an incident they’re referring to as racial discrimination.

Jennifer McEwen, Sasha Collins, and Lamaya McGuire stopped into the Denny’s on West Saginaw Hwy. in Lansing. They say shortly after they ordered, four people wearing “Blue Angels” biker jackets were seated in their section.

“As soon as they seen us they just, well one just started going in like we don’t like these type of people where we’re from. We ignored it. Then he sits down like n-word, n-word, n-word to his friend. We ignored it. So then he tells the waitress serve these n-words some t-bone steaks,” Collins said.

They then called the waitress over to their table and asked if she’d heard what the man said. They say the waitress ignored their question, so Collins asked for a manager.

“I said well I have some concerns that I want to express to you since this party of four came in they’ve been blurting out racial slurs. Could you either move them or if it happens again could you ask them to leave? He said no it’s a freedom of speech,” Collins said to the manager.

Collins then says she returned to her table and the manager followed her and told them if they didn’t like what they were hearing, they could leave.

That’s when McEwen said “So if we were to say something back to them would that be freedom of speech and he said no, that would be you guys starting s***.”

The women then asked if they could take their food to go since they’d already ordered and they say the manager refused. Eventually, he said he was going to call the police.

“I said okay call the police and I’ll call the police too. We didn’t do anything. We don’t have to leave,” McEwen said.

While McEwen dialed 9-1-1, she said one of the men approached her and made a sarcastic remark. That’s when one of the female bikers walked up and punched McEwen. It was all captured on surveillance video.

The women say not one Denny’s employee ever did anything to intervene and now they plan to take the restaurant chain to court over this incident that months later… still affects them today.

“We were just so hurt,” McEwen said.

They are seeking legal representation and plan to file a lawsuit against the franchise as well as Denny’s corporate.

A spokesperson for Denny’s said, “We have recently been contacted about this situation that took place last year in Lansing MI. Denny’s is committed to providing a welcoming environment for all our guests and we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We are sincerely saddened to hear about the treatment these women received from another party in the restaurant. We are looking into the situation and continue to cooperate with the authorities to locate the perpetrator as soon as possible.”

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