It was an experience Evan Brown never anticipated at his neighborhood Sonic and one he will now never be able to forget.
“When you say you are going to call the police on an African American kid, that’s a threat,” Brown said.
Brown and a few friends stopped at the Sonic on Inwood Road on May 29 and were outside their cars when a Sonic employee told them if they did not get back inside their cars the police would be called.
“They left immediately and they were scared, I have heard him use the word intimidated, fearful, those words are threats,” Shonn Brown, Evan’s mother said.
Sonic has since apologized and promised unconscious bias training for their employees.
Sonic released the following statement Sunday.
Sonic unequivocally opposes racism and intolerance of any kind. We celebrate diversity and strive to consistently create an environment that highly values inclusion.
Unfortunately, a recent event at our Drive-In restaurant in Dallas, Texas, was handled inappropriately and did not live up to our standards. As soon as we were alerted to the situation by the families involved, we engaged in a valuable discussion on race, equality and a deeper understanding of social justice issues and ways we can improve as a company.
Sonic deeply and sincerely apologizes to the teenagers involved in the incident. We simply must do better going forward. To that end, we are revising our policy to ensure the appropriate level of manager is involved in handling matters with our guests. We are also bolstering our training program to include consistent unconscious bias training, with a focus on the African American experience, as we foster a more inclusive environment for our team members and guests.
We thank the families involved for their productive and positive discussion and look forward to our continued conversations.
Sunday community members gathered at the Sonic, driving through the parking lot to show their support for Brown and his friends. Brown and his mother said they accepted Sonic’s apology, but were committed to holding them accountable when it comes to implementing change.
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“It’s not a one fix, we want sustainable change,” Shonn Brown said.