In a statement, Alderwood Restaurant investor Ahmed Hamdy said, “The next morning we met with the employee. He had a few drinks and went out of hand. The two parties appeared to be at fault and the decision was made that both parties are banned from the restaurant.”
Soon after, at least half the restaurant’s staff of 22 quit their jobs to protest the employee’s firing.
“It’s just unjustified. They wanted to cut their ties from the situation by letting him go, which ultimately had a major blow-back on them in the public eye,” former employee Evan Maine said. “In today’s social climate we all know no one’s going to stand for that kind of behavior.”
Social media users condemned Alderwood Restaurant for not siding with their employee, a move many viewed as racist.
Santa Cruz Mayor Justin Cummings has reportedly reviewed the videos in the case but is still examining what happened.
“So, if the motive behind assaulting the employee was racially motivated then I would consider that a hate crime,” Cummings said.
Hamdy said that the restaurant was forced to close soon after for the safety of the remaining staff.
“We have to think about what’s next and how we can reach out to the community and have a dialogue with the community. We feel we’ve been treated unfairly in this whole situation,” said Hamdy.
The investigation remains open until further evidence is presented.
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