Three Texan women were arrested for assaulting Carmine’s hostess who enforced New York City’s vaccine pass rules. Shortly after the Black Lives Matter activists picketed the restaurant and called out the government for the policy’s “racist” impact. The restaurant was picketed on Monday night, confronting both staff and patrons, and calling Carmine’s “racist” and “fascist” over the incident with the vaccine passport demand.
“I charge Carmine’s with trying to cover up their employees’ actions by using the vaccination passport as an excuse,” said BLM NY leader Hawk Newsome.
As it was reminded, New York City was the first jurisdiction in the US to require proof of vaccination for patrons wishing to enter restaurants and other venues. The policy came into effect on September 13, 2021. Three days later, police arrested Sally Rechelle Lewis, Kaeita Nkeenge Rankin, and Tyonnie Keshay Rankin, and charged them with assault and criminal mischief, after a video emerged of them assaulting Carmine’s hostess. Soon after they were released without bail.
The three women, residents of Houston and its suburb of Humble, were originally described as “Texan”. The Rankins’ attorney told the New York Times the physical assault followed the hostess calling the group a derogatory racial term – a claim Newsome appears to have taken at face value. Carmine parent-group owner Jeffrey Bank called that statement “false” and described the attack on his employees as “entirely unprovoked”. To prove his stance he released the surveillance footage of the incident.
“At no point did the women mention that any of the hosts ever made a racial slur. Nor did the women say that to the police officers who arrested them. Nor did anyone hear any such slur,” Bank said. “This is because none of our hosts — all of whom are people of colour — ever uttered such a slur.”