Black Lives Matter activists gathered near Carmine’s restaurant in New York City and slammed its ‘racist’ management after three black women visiting from Texas were arrested for allegedly assaulting a hostess who asked for proof of vaccination.
BLM protesters chanted ‘F*** you, Carmine’s’ and ‘Carmine’s are racist’ outside the Italian restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on Monday night – four days after the altercation.
Meanwhile, the restaurant walked back an earlier claim that the three women did not show proof of vaccination.
Trident DMG, the public relations firm representing the restaurant, told Gothamist that the three women who were arrested – Kaeita Rankin, 44, her niece Tyonnie Keshay Rankin and Sally Rechelle Lewis, 49 – showed their vaccination cards on Thursday.
The women, all of whom are from the Houston area, were seated indoors, but they then left when three men who were part of their group arrived several minutes later and two of them could not produce proof of vaccination, according to Trident DMG.
Emma Novak, a spokesperson for the company, told Gothamist that the three women launched ‘an entirely unprovoked, brutal attack on our hosts.’
Rankin, her niece, and Lewis were arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault and criminal mischief.
They were given desk appearance tickets and ordered to appear in court on October 5.
They allege a restaurant employee used the N-word, sparking their anger and leading to the altercation
Justin Moore, a lawyer who represents Kaeita Nkeenge Rankin, alleged that the hostess used a racial slur and was rude to the women. The hostess allegedly accused the women of producing fake vaccination cards.
‘The hostess begins spouting out derogatory comments, and speaking with two of the women; they claim that the N-word is being spewed out,’ Moore told The New York Times.
‘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”.’
He said the incident amounted to ‘mutual combat.’
Moore’s allegations were rejected by Carolyn Richmond, an attorney for the restaurant.
‘Nothing about this incident suggests race was an issue,’ Richmond told the Times.
‘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,’ she added.
‘As all of the women showed proof of vaccination they were all permitted to enter and were in fact seated inside.’
BLM protesters on Monday demanded that the restaurant release closed-circuit surveillance footage of the incident. Carmine’s management was accused of ‘trying to cover up their employee’s actions by using the vaccination passport as an excuse.’
The restaurant responded by releasing the footage, which shows the three women accost the hostess even though it did not appear that she provoked them. The footage was first obtained by NY1.