Christina Cabral is a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner seen in a viral video calling police on a black woman over a dispute about free WiFi.
Tirza Wilbon White posted a video to Facebook showing her encounter with Cabral, who identified herself as the owner of the Fairfax, Virginia Dunkin’ Donuts store. White wrote that she is a regular at the store and frequently works on her laptop there. She wrote that Cabral, who she saw for the first time at the store, approached her and told her that the WiFi was not free and she had to “make a purchase of leave.”
Cabral called the police and had them kick White out of the store, which she recorded on video.
“Later I called corporate office and received a case number. A Dunkin Donuts Customer Service supervisor told me their policy requires all franchise owners to offer free WiFi,” White wrote.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Tirza Wilbon White Accused Christina Cabral of ‘Bullying’ Her
According to White, the police were called because Cabral tried to “bully” her into buying something.
“She said WiFi is not free,” White wrote on Facebook. “She said I had to make a purchase or leave. When I told her she couldn’t mandate a purchase from customers, she said she was calling the police. I asked for her business card because I was going to call the corporate office to ask about their policy. She first agreed to give me her business card and then she refused when she realized I was recording our conversation.”
“She said she’s going to post signs to let customers know they must make a purchase to be in her store,” White continued. “I left when the police told me to leave and said they would wait until I did. Wow. Later I called corporate office and received a case number. A Dunkin Donuts Customer Service supervisor told me their policy requires all franchise owners is to offer free WiFi.”
“A franchise owner attempted to bully me,” she added. “She lied about corporate policy, attempted to force me to make a purchase to be in the store because she has a loitering problem. She called the police to force me to leave when I told her she was profiling the gentleman and me. In her mind I was the ‘people’ who loiter. In reality, I was a customer in her store, until yesterday, and I have been for more than 2 years.”
The Dunkin’ Donuts corporate office later issued a statement to The Root saying that “the franchisee who owns and operates this location informs us that their policy requires guests in their restaurant to make a purchase to stay in the dining room and enjoy the free Wi-Fi, and this was not clearly communicated to the guest.”
2. Christina Cabral Rejected Accusations of ‘Racial Profiling’
In the video posted to Facebook, Cabral told White that the rule was to prevent loitering after claiming fights had broken out at the store.
“They hang out here for eight hours and they get into fights,” she told White. “You can look it up; it was on Prince William County a year ago.” She added: “We’re just trying to make our customers feel safe.”
White told Cabral she felt discriminated against.
“Oh, please,” Cabral replied. “Don’t get into the racial profiling. It’s my family. I find that offensive.”
“Now you wanna call the police because you don’t like what I’m saying?” White asked.
“You’re offending me,” Cabral replied. “You’re the one who brought up racial profiling. You can take your recording, and you can do what you want with it, because at the end of the day, you’re trying to blackmail me.”
3. Tirza Wilbon White Says The Police ‘Failed’ Her
When police arrived, an officer tried to explain that police had been called to the location before due to fights. After speaking with the officer, she got in her car and left.
“I just pulled across the street and cried,” she later told The Root. “Even now I’m so angry because of all of it and how it could have ended.”
“I feel failed at the store level by the manager. I feel failed at by the police,” she added.
“She called the police to force me to leave when I told her she was profiling the gentleman and me,” White wrote on Facebook. “In her mind I was the ‘people’ who loiter. In reality, I was a customer in her store, until yesterday, and I have been for more than 2 years… I want justice for the humiliation I experienced. Please share this and help me get justice.”
4. Dunkin’ Donuts Issues Apology
The Dunkin’ Donuts corporate office issued a statement to The Root, saying:
We are aware of the video and the situation that occurred at the Dunkin’ restaurant located in Fairfax, VA. The franchisee who owns and operates this location informs us that their policy requires guests in their restaurant to make a purchase to stay in the dining room and enjoy the free Wi-Fi, and this was not clearly communicated to the guest.
The lead franchise owner is attempting to contact the guest to apologize for the negative experience. Dunkin’ and our franchisees share a goal of creating a welcoming and hospitable restaurant environment and treating everyone with dignity and respect.
5. Dunkin’ Donuts Has Seen Several Racial Incidents in The Past Year
In Portland, Maine, a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner issued an apology to Hamdia Ahmed, a Somali woman who was refused service and kicked out of the store for speaking Somali in front of an employee, Maine Public Radio reported.
In another incident, a Baltimore Dunkin’ Donuts store was forced to take down a sign offering free coffee and food to any customer who reported employees speaking any language other than English, Fox News reported.
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