Black College Graduate Wins $8,000 in Damages from a Chinese Restaurant after Staff Racially-Profiled his Group of Friends and Told them to Pay Before Eating

Emile Wickham (in red York University sweatshirt) says he and his friends were out for his 28 birthday and went to Toronto’s Hong Shing restuarant (pictured) for a late bite and were told they had to pay in advance

A restaurant in Toronto, Canada has been ordered to pay up to a black customer after he and his black friends were told they had to pay for their food before it was served.

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has ordered Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant to pay almost $8,000 to Emile Wickham who was celebrating his 28th birthday when the group decided to grab a late night bite on May 3, 2014.

The group of four noticed they were the only black patrons in the restaurant. ‘I still felt skeptical, so then I approached other tables,’ Wickham told CNN. No one else was asked to prepay.

‘That’s really messed up,’ one diner told Wickham after he explained why he was asking, according to SF Gate.

Emile Wickham (in red York University sweatshirt) says he and his friends were out for his 28 birthday and went to Toronto’s Hong Shing restuarant (pictured) for a late bite and were told they had to pay in advance
The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ordered Hong Shing to pay Wickham over $8,000 after they said the restaurant racially profiled the group- the restaurant says they have since changed management and are appealing

‘There was frustration initially. And that frustration turned into a feeling of dejection and sadness,’ Wickham told CNN.

Wickham was approaching his next birthday, and his feelings over their treatment that May night still bothered him.

He even thought to some extent wearing his York University sweatshirt ‘on some level’ would make him immune from such incidents, according to court records.

Just before his 29 birthday, he filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal.

At first the restaurant argued they had a number of dine-and-dash customers due to its location, and that it was a policy to ask non-regular customers to pay in advance.

However the Tribunal found there was no evidence this was an actual restaurant policy, and they ruled the restaurant had racially profiled the students.

Hong Shing said they have since changed management, and are concerned over the sitution. They also said they would be appealing the outcome.

‘There are a number of sensitivities and considerations about this situation, and for that reason, the tribunal outcome is under appeal by legal representatives.

Wickham says the ruling should be seen beyond the scope of this incident inside of a Chinese restaurant, and that this happens in daily life, work life and social activities

SOURCE: DailyMail, by JESSICA FINN