Dunkin' Donuts customer says he was racially profiled after store kicks him out | KOB 4

Dunkin' Donuts customer says he was racially profiled after store kicks him out

Patrick Hayes
October 22, 2018 08:31 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. – A New Mexico man says he was kicked out of a Santa Fe restaurant – someone who has spent much of his life giving back to New Mexico – and now it's raising the question on if he was racially profiled.


Timothy Nelson is black and said he was kicked out of a Santa Fe Dunkin' Donuts earlier this week after an employee told him they had a one-hour rule.

"It's as if saying, 'We don't need your kind around here. We don't need your stuff. We don't need all that you're bringing around here,'" Nelson said. "'We don't need it.'"

He's now using the encounter as a learning experience—just not for himself. Nelson teaches at the University of New Mexico, and says he documented the exchange to show to his class.

According to Nelson, he was waiting for his car to get fixed when he decided to get a cup of coffee. He was wearing his Army jacket, and admits he didn't look professional.

"I get what it could look like if you thought I had bad intentions, but that's where the problem is," he said. "I don't think I would have had a problem if I looked different or if I was wearing something different."

Nelson's encounter is the third time this month that the coffee-and-donut company has been in the spotlight for treatment of customers. In New York, two employees were fired after dumping water on a homeless man. Then, in Portland, a woman said police were called after a Somali woman was talking in her native language.

Back in New Mexico, Nelson said he's using the experience as a teaching moment for his 12-year-old daughter.

"I'm not complaining, but (at) this moment we need to talk about this," he said. "This is New Mexico, bro. You know what I mean? It's New Mexico."

Company officials provided KOB with the following statement:

"Dunkin’ and our franchisees share a goal of creating a welcoming and hospitable restaurant environment and treating everyone with dignity and respect. We are aware of the incident that took place at the Dunkin’ location at 1085 S. Saint Francis Drive in Santa Fe.

"The franchisee who owns and operates the restaurant informs us that this incident resulted from a misunderstanding, and that she apologizes to the guest for the poor experience."


Patrick Hayes

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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