RICHMOND HEIGHTS, MO - The NAACP is speaking out about accusations of racial profiling at a Richmond Heights restaurant.
A group of African-Americans visiting the Blue Sky Tower Grill believe they were mistreated.
Wednesday the St. Louis County NAACP released a statement regarding the racial incident that took place on Saturday, Feb. 9th at Blue Sky Tower Grill, “Sadly, what took place on February 9th at Blue Sky in Richmond Heights is far too often the reality for African-Americans,” said St. Louis County NAACP President John Gaskin. “Racial profiling is still a reality for people of color living in this nation.”
It is unfortunate that customers patronizing an establishment to celebrate an occasion cannot dine without being subjected to having law enforcement called upon them.
“The owner of the establishment owes the family a heartfelt apology. A more in-depth look needs to be considered at the makeup of management and their training around diversity and bias.”
“Saturday’s incident is sadly not a surprise, as we look at the Missouri Attorney General’s traffic stop data, it is simply a reflection of the reality of racial profiling in areas of St. Louis and across the state. The family underwent what many would call ‘Dining while Black.’”
The leadership of the St. Louis County NAACP will meet with Blue Sky ownership next week to discuss the incident. Additionally, the branch will conduct its own investigation to gather facts on what exactly occurred.
Cell phone video was captured by 30-year-old Terrance Dickerson Saturday night at his birthday dinner. Dickerson says he signed a contract with Blue Sky Tower Grill reserving a party space for $100. He showed our news crew the email from the restaurant. “That states everyone could do separate checks for their own food and drink and that they would be charged 20 percent on all checks for gratuity.”
Dickerson says a waitress refused to serve them. He believes she felt overworked due to the large party. “She left and never came back the next message we get is the police want you to leave,” said Dickerson.
Dickerson alleges the restaurant feared the group would not pay their bills because they were African-American. The group was asked to leave and pay their bills in a single file line.
Fox 2 under the Missouri Sunshine Law has requested police records and the 911 call.
“About 8: 20 we got a call for a possible disturbance involving 30 people at the Blue Sky Grill. We had a number of officers 7 or 8 officers. We quickly found out that it was not a disturbance, just a misunderstanding over how the group would be billed if would be one check or an individual check. When we arrived, the restaurant came to an agreement and working with the group,” said Chief Doug Schaeffler.
Bill and Patti Hildebrand owners of Blue Sky Tower Grill released the following statement:
“We are the owners of Blue Sky Tower Grill in Richmond Heights, Missouri. Unfortunately, we are currently out of town and unable to return until Monday, February 18, 2019. We were out of town on Saturday, February 9, 2019. As a result, we are in the process of trying to determine what happened that evening.
In the meantime, we have been in communication with the customer and have agreed to return the $100.00 facility fee. We have also apologized to the customer for any inconvenience or dissatisfaction. Likewise, we apologize to all of the guests who were inconvenienced last Saturday evening. Our family has been in the restaurant business since 1932. We always try our best to meet our customer's expectations, apparently, we did not do so in this case. We are sorry this incident happened.”
We reached out to Terrence Dickerson who was celebrating his birthday party.
He says no one called him, but that he received an apology via email.
Dickerson is not pleased with the way the restaurant handled the situation.