Photo: Zhang Peng / Contributor (Getty Images)

Oh look, it’s today’s reminder that corporations that do good things can also be supremely awful. An Associated Press report details a lawsuit being brought against Burger King, one of their franchisees, and a cashier at that franchise by Emory Ellis, a black homeless man who spent more than three months in jail for the horrific crime of: paying for his sandwich.

Here’s how it went down: Ellis, 37, entered a Boston Burger King location one morning in November 2015. He tried to order food, but the cashier suspected the bill he presented was fake. The police were called, and Ellis was arrested and charged with forgery of a bank note, which in turn triggered a parole violation. As a result, Ellis was held without bail until February, when the Secret Service determined that the money was legit, and the charges were dropped. Oh, and there’s one last little injustice: He never got his money back.

Per the AP:

Ellis’ attorney said the cashier likely wouldn’t have questioned if the money was real if a white man in a suit handed him the same bill. Even if he did, the cashier probably would have apologized and said he couldn’t accept the cash instead of calling police, attorney Justin Drechsler said.

“A person like me would’ve gotten an apology, but a person like Emory somehow finds his way in handcuffs for trying to pay for his breakfast with real money,” said Drechsler, who’s white.

Advertisement

Ellis is suing for $950,000 in damages. His suit comes on the heels of a bunch of racist bullshit, including the baseless arrest of two black men who were just sitting in a Starbucks, the firing of three Applebee’s employees who falsely accused two black women of pulling a dine-and-dash, several incidents in which black diners were asked to pre-pay in restaurants, and two separate occasions of Waffle House employees calling the cops on black diners, who then endured physical altercations with police. Oh, and there’s the Yale student who received a visit from the cops for falling asleep in a common room. The list goes on.

Burger King has used its corporate clout for good in the recent past, and, it just might be the actions of one boneheaded cashier and store. Still, it’s especially disappointing to see them added to the list of business ripe for a visit from the BBQ Becky meme. Looking forward to reading your “Whopper of an injustice” puns below.