Ra­cial slur protest at B’klyn store

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY ELLEN MOYNI­HAN AND CATHY BURKE

Pro­test­ers swarmed a Brook­lyn butcher shop Satur­day over a black cus­tomer’s com­plaint that a shop worker used a ra­cial slur by ad­dress­ing him with the Span­ish word for mon­key.

About 20 peo­ple gath­ered out­side Sa­gal Meat Mar­ket on Broad­way Ave. in Bed­fordS­tuyvesant to protest the Jan. 2 in­ci­dent, chant­ing “Shut it down!”

Four peo­ple were ar­rested — in­clud­ing Demba Kane, the cus­tomer who says he was the ob­ject of the slur by an un­named shop em­ployee.

All four — in­clud­ing Kane’s wife, Ve­nessa, and Na­tional Ac­tion Net­work or­ga­nizer the Rev. Kevin McCall — were to be charged with dis­or­derly con­duct, of­fi­cials said.

“The gen­tle­man in­side, he un­der­es­ti­mated my Span­ish,” Demba Kane said. “He told me,

‘Aqui, mono.’ So I tell him ‘Why do you call me mono? Mono is not good.’

“He told me I don’t un­der­stand. I say, ‘I un­der­stand very well. Mono means mon­key.’ ”

Kane said he then asked to speak to a man­ager and was told none was avail­able.

“I came here three times to ask for the num­ber for the man­ager. They re­fused to give it to me,” he said.

Ve­nessa Kane fumed that store work­ers “con­tinue to treat us with dis­re­spect and we’re not tak­ing it any­more. This is the last day.”

Mar­ket worker Al­berto Cruz, how­ever, claims the em­ployee who al­legedly made the racist re­mark was fired.

“He’s gone.” Cruz said. “He left that day.”

For­mer owner Lenin Sanchez, who opened the store in 2009, said his brother, Luis Fer­nan­dez, now owns and op­er­ates the busi­ness. Fer­nan­dez did not im­me­di­ately re­turn a call for com­ment.

McCall was in­censed by the in­ci­dent.

“You think you can do that in Bed­ford-Stuyvesant? Hell no! It will not be tol­er­ated,” he said.

An­thony Beck­ford, of Black Lives Mat­ter Brook­lyn, agreed. “The word is go­ing to go out, and it should have been out — that if you dis­re­spect any­one in our com­mu­ni­ties, your busi­ness will not stay stand­ing,” he said.

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