A police intervention has negatively impacted how Germany, otherwise tolerant, is seen around the world and sparked a debate on racism in the country, after a video showing several black British tourists escorted out of a KFC restaurant in Berlin went viral on internet.
The video, posted by one of the tourists, shows police officers arguing with the group in English over their KFC table and telling them to leave without any evidence that they were a threat to peace or other customers.
“You have to go right now,” says one of the officers, despite the fact that they were still eating orderly the food they had ordered and paid for.
The policeman added that they were called by the store’s manager as if the police are employed by the store.
The video, first published on Monday, has already been viewed over 260,000 times as at Thursday.
It is understood that the manager had informed the police that the black tourists were “throwing food around” and were “disruptive” However, nothing in the video substantiated that claim. Their table was seen to be orderly; so was also the restaurant.
Deutsche Welle reported that on Thursday, Berlin police confirmed they received a call about a group of “disruptive” diners in a KFC-venue in downtown Berlin. The officers arrived at the scene and talked with a KFC employee, who complained that group of guests was throwing food around and badgering the staff, as well as refusing to leave.
This prompted the altercation captured on video, a police spokeswoman told Berliner Morgenpost daily.
“The officers determinedly reject the accusations of racism,” she said.
But the job of police officers is to investigate complaints neutrally. In the video, the police officers were not seen showing to the UK tourists the mess that they created which justified their ejection.
CHECKPOINTCHARLEY has no way of knowing if the tourists were loud. But that is not uncommon in restaurants. It could be tolerated under the slogan that customers are kings – especially when KFC is known by everyone who had ever eaten there not to be a quiet place.
KFC Germany also stood by its actions, saying that the group was behaving “inappropriately.” However, the food chain could not explain what it meant by inappropriate behaviour.
One of the tourists, Kelon Pierre gave the German newspaper, Die Welt a different account, according to the Deutsche Welle. He denied that he and his friends were throwing food, but confirmed there was an altercation with the manager who asked them to be quiet.
“Other guests around us also talked and laughed,” he told the German paper. “That is why I wanted to know: Why are you only talking to us?”
“We were the only black people in the restaurant and the only ones who were asked to be quieter,” he said, according to a German-language quote.
He described the police response as an “overreaction.”
See the video below for yourself: