A Dairy Queen franchisee has lost his right to own the business after going on a racist rant against a black customer and her children, KTRK (Houston) is reporting.
Dairy Queen corporate headquarters in Minnesota announced that Jim Crichton, formerly the owner of a Dairy Queen location in the northern Illinois city of Zion, will no longer be associated with the company. The location remains closed until further notice.
Crichton’s troubles began last week when Deia Ford, an African-American woman, went into the restaurant in Chicago’s far north suburbs.
— MCTV (@MCTV419) January 7, 2017
Ford says she placed an order and, when she didn’t receive everything she ordered, asked for a refund. Crichton refused and offered her $5 in return. Then, according to Ford, he called her and her children the N-word and told them they didn’t deserve anything more.
“It was really just upsetting especially with having my children in the car. I mean, no one deserves to be treated like that.”
When Ford asked for the manager’s name, Ford claims he told her “Hillary Clinton… better yet, I’m Donald Trump.”
Upset, Ford called the police.
At this point, it bears noting that, in a general sense, calling someone the N-word is not a crime in Illinois, according to Law QA. Using the word during the commission of another crime — vandalism, for example, or assault — can get additional hate crime charges tacked on to whatever else you’re accused of. But simply using that word against another person is not against the law in the Land of Lincoln.
Regardless, Zion cops showed up to try to make sense of the situation. It was there that Crichton dug himself into an even deeper hole.
After getting Ford’s side of the story, the police officer talked to Crichton to get his side of things. Crichton didn’t help his case, according to the police report, made available via The Chicago Tribune.
“I asked him what happened with Ford and told him she was so disturbed by his behavior she was willing to sign a complaint against him. [He] boastfully told me he would be happy to go to jail over the issue and proudly admitted to calling Ford a slur. He added that he is ‘fed up with black people.'”
The police officer left without charging anyone with a crime. However, once the officer’s report reached the desk of Zion Police Chief Stephen Dumyahn, he was shocked that a business owner in his community would say such things.
“I’m disgusted and discouraged by the comments made by this business owner. I reached out to Miss Ford to tell her that this does not represent the diverse community of Zion.”
Driving thru Zion Illinois. The police were so kind to let us take some pics by a cop car and they gave Zion a patch pic.twitter.com/4VDonOPt9Q
— Ian DiOrio (@ianmdiorio) July 18, 2014
For Dairy Queen owner Jim Crichton, however, the damage had been done. Protesters began showing up around the store, and Crichton began getting harassing and threatening phone calls. He later apologized for his words, but now it appears that it’s too little too late.
In a statement, Dairy Queen headquarters, in announcing its severing of ties with Crichton, confirmed that the fast-food chain does not tolerate actions like Crichton’s.
“The recent actions of this franchisee are inexcusable, reprehensible, unacceptable and do not represent the values of the Dairy Queen family, our employees, fans and other independent franchisees around the world.”
Do you believe that Dairy Queen franchise owner Jim Crichton deserved to lose his business over an alleged racist rant?
[Featured Image by Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock]