An attorney for one of the three Texas women arrested for attacking a New York City restaurant hostess is pushing back on the official account and says that the alleged victim actually used a racial slur. Lawyer Justin Moore told The New York Times in a Saturday report that according to the three Black women, the hostess assaulted them. This was “mutual combat,” he said.
“The hostess begins spouting out derogatory comments, and speaking with two of the women,” Moore told the outlet. “They claim that the N-word is being spewed out. They also heard the hostess say, ‘Yeah, you guys can leave my restaurant,’ or something very aggressive like that. When Dr. Rankin hears that, she turns around and addresses the hostess. She tells her: ‘This isn’t your restaurant. You’re just a staff member here. Please address us with respect.’”
An attorney for the restaurant denies wrongdoing.
As previously reported, Kaeita Nkeenge Rankin, Tyonnie Keshay Rankin, and Sally Rechelle Lewis were charged with committing assault at Carmine’s Italian Restaurant in Manhattan’s Upper West Side neighborhood. The hostess had asked about their vaccination status when they tried to enter, the restaurant told WNBC-TV. Since Monday, people have to show proof of vaccination when wanting to enter NYC establishments including restaurants.
Moore said that the the Rankins and Lewis had their vaccination cards. Lawyers from both sides of the case say that the fight began after two men joined the women minutes later but could not provide proof of vaccination. Moore, however, said that the hostess suggested the womens’ vaccination cards were fake.
A Carmine’s attorney denies the racism claim and said the hostess let the women into the restaurant.
“Nothing about this incident suggests race was an issue,” lawyer Carolyn Richmond wrote the Times in an email. “The pandemic has added a key responsibility to the host position — insuring the safety and health of all employees and guests by checking for proof of vaccination in compliance with New York City law. The idea that anyone would become violent as an employee performs this necessary function is anathema to New York, the hospitality industry and New Yorkers in general. As all of the women showed proof of vaccination they were all permitted to enter and were in fact seated inside.”
[Screenshot via NBC New York]
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