A man is suing a popular barbershop in Denver for discriminating against him because he’s Black and walks with a limp.
According to the suit, filed in Denver district court by Darcel Harris, the shop, Floyd’s 99, discriminated against him from the moment he entered and began asking about haircuts, reported local station KMGH.
“He starts to ask about haircuts and before he can even get a sentence out, he gets shoved and pushed,” said Ian Hicks, a consumer protection attorney, on behalf of Harris.
Hicks said he has surveillance footage that backs up his assertion.
In a police report, however, Floyd’s employees say it was Harris that entered the shop “mumbling” and that he was “extremely drunk or high.”
In the video from inside the barbershop, Harris is seen walking through the door. Immediately, a female employee confronts him and attempts to push him out the door before Harris yanks his arm away, according to KMGH.
“She just came out of nowhere,” Harris said.
Once outside, police body cam footage shows Harris being arrested. He is heard asking officers why he is being brought into custody. The officer responded that people reported Harris for harassing businesses, the station reported.
“She assumes a limping African American male walking into a barbershop on a Saturday afternoon must be drunk,” Hicks told Denver 7. “Must be up to no good. That Black man’s a criminal.”
When asked if he was drunk, Harris said he wasn’t.
Harris said he developed a limp quite a few years ago as a result of a tumor that doctors removed from his leg.
“That’s why I walk like this,” he said. “I wake up in pain most days.”
Meanwhile, the Denver District Attorney’s Office threw out criminal charges against Harris.
“The District Attorney dropped charges as soon as he saw the tape,” Hicks said. “The tape does speak for itself.”
In the lawsuit, Hicks alleges false imprisonment and accuses the Floyds employee of lying that he shoved her first, when the video proves otherwise. The suit also alleges racial discrimination.
Harris says he had never visited the barbershop before.