A former HR professional from Illinois has been identified as the woman who went on tirades at a Michael’s and Peet’s Coffee & Tea stores.
She has now been named as Jennifer Boyle.
In the video, above, Boyle starts shouting in the Michael’s store at two African-American store employees that she was being “discriminated against” and added, “Why don’t you shut your face. And I voted for Trump, so there… and look who won. And look who won. And look who won.” Some have called the video racist or racially charged, which Boyle denies.
After the incident, a Chicago man was accused of pushing Boyle in her apartment building and calling her names, but the charges were dropped when Boyle didn’t show up for court.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Tirades Went on for Almost 12 Minutes Combined
At one point, Boyle approached the woman who was capturing the Michael’s rant on cell phone video. She said, “I don’t know what you think you’re videoing, lady. I don’t know what you think you’re videoing. I was just discriminated against by two black women, yes, I was, and you, being a white woman, you literally thinking that that’s OK…”
She then accused the woman’s child of stealing with no evidence and her husband of cheating on her. The woman then asked if she needed help. Boyle accused the woman of being against her because of her Trump vote. Boyle, in the rant, said she grew upset because of how she wanted her items bagged and called a store employee an “animal” and accused her of giving her a “liberal lecture.”
In an interview with News 5, Boyle claimed the incident was the result of poor customer service, not racism and said she has received death threats.
In the Peet’s Coffee & Tea incident (watch above), she confronted an employee, shouting that he was a “b-tch” and claiming she was going to file a complaint with the corporate office. “Oh my God, you’re a floor manager, Oh my God, you’re a floor manager, and you call people a b-tch, you’re a b-tch…I was treated like crap, Bobby,” she rants at one point. She also said she was “afraid” for her life and accused the floor manager of calling her a b-tch. He responded that he didn’t like how she was treating his employees.
2. Boyle Was Recently a Human Relations Professional for a Major Employer
Boyle’s LinkedIn page said she was employed from May 2015 through November 2016 as a human resources business partner for Sinai Health System in the greater Chicago area.
She said she “worked directly with Executive leaders and directors” to “facilitate the effective coordination and delivery of HR services including talent acquisition, performance management, compensation, employee and labor relations employee engagement, and workforce planning.”
She said she “addressed poor performance issues and policy violations through progressive discipline and performance management process. Established a formal recruiting and onboarding program, counsel management.”
3. Boyle Brags on Social Media About Her Leadership & Presentation Skills
Boyle’s LinkedIn site says, “I love making new professional acquaintances. Please reach out if you want to talk HR, healthcare professional’s (sic) or hockey (Go Blackhawsk!)”
She wrote on LinkedIn that she was “experienced in achieving organizational transformation through strategic HR Program and System Implementations.”
She called herself a “responsive and trustworthy business partner who helps leaders redesign their organizational structures to help improve employee engagement, retention, and productivity.”
She said she was an “articulate and effective presenter” who demonstrates “leadership, keen analytical and assessment skills. Excels at adapting a responsive leadership style to suit unique cultural environments.”
In the Peet’s video, Boyle claimed she makes $90,000 a year.
4. Sinai Said in a Statement That Boyle Stopped Working for the Company in September
In a statement posted on Facebook after the incident, Sinai wrote:
Last Wednesday, a customer started yelling at employees and making racial comments in a retail store in the Chicagoland area, and a video of that altercation went viral. We have learned that this customer was a former employee of Sinai, whose employment with us ceased in September. Sinai Health System embraces diversity, inclusion and respect for all people. We condemn and reject any behavior or statements that insult or demean anyone based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or nationality.
On LinkedIn, Boyle wrote that she cares about animal welfare, arts and culture, children, education, environment, health, and disaster and humanitarian relief and said she wanted to join a nonprofit board.
5. The Woman Who Filmed the Video Has Started a Fundraising Site for the Store Employees
Jessie Grady, who filmed the first incident with her cell phone, started a fundraising GoFundMe site for the store employees. As of December 1, it had raised more than $32,000.
She wrote: “I’m overwhelmed by this response. This is unbelievable!!”
The site says, “On the night before Thanksgiving, I witnessed a white woman engage in a 30 minute racist rant (complete with yelling and cursing and repeated references to the fact that employees were African American) against the employees at a Chicago Michaels store – because she did not like that they offered her the option to purchase a re-usable shopping bag for her larger items. I was directly in front of this customer in line, I stopped at the exit to show my 2 year old a Christmas ornament and witnessed first-hand that the Michaels’ employees did nothing to provoke this verbal attack, and in fact treated all customers with professionalism and courtesy.”
Grady continued, “I was so shocked by this unprovoked attack that I captured 17 minutes of it on video on my phone. I am starting this gofundme because I’d like to do something to try to make it up to the employee who was the main target of this racist attack. I’d like to show her that many people are horrified by how this woman treated her, and that we stand with her and appreciate her hard work. She inspired me because despite the hateful words that were being hurled in her direction, she stood in that entranceway calm and unmoving to protect her staff and customers. Her calmness calmed me and I saw a true leader, which in today’s world, is something to be rewarded. All proceeds from this gofundme will be given to this employee, who has three children, to try to make her busy holiday season brighter. In the current climate I believe it’s very important that we go out of our way to treat each other with dignity, kindness and politeness, and that we stand up for each other when we see people being mistreated.”
As for Boyle, she has deleted her social media pages.