A Somali student described how she and her family were told to leave a Dunkin’ Donuts store for talking in their native language.
The store owner then met 20-year-old Hamdia Ahmed, an activist, and a Portland college student, and apologized to her and her family after she shared what happened on social media.
Ahmed said that she felt the employee discriminated against her and her family for speaking Somali while waiting for the coffee they ordered at the drive-thru of St. John Street Dunkin’ Donuts.
The student, who is also a model, said that she and her family drove to the store around 12:30 pm and waited for the employee to ask for their order.
They waited in the car and chatted in Somali. Then, they suddenly heard a woman’s voice through the speaker and reprimanded them for ‘yelling.’
“All of a sudden we heard a woman say, ‘stop yelling, stop yelling, and We’re like what’s happening,” she recalled.
“We’re just having a conversation. We were talking in Somali. She told us she’s not going to take our order and for us to leave and she was going to call the police.”
After a short argument in the drive-thru lane, Ahmed parked her vehicle and went inside the store. An employee called the police, and after an officer spoke to the student and employees, the police issued Ahmed a no-trespass notice preventing her from going back to the store for one year.
The student also said that another employee called her a ‘bit**’ before the woman called the cops.
Ahmed shared a photo of the no-trespass notice to her Facebook and Twitter accounts. She also shared what happened in the store.
After the online post, Ahmed organized a protest outside the Dunkin’ Donut store and 12 people showed up to rally.
Dave DaRosa, the owner of the St. John Street store, met with Ahmed and apologized. They talked about how to avoid these types of problems in the future and he also rescinded the no-trespass order.
“He gave a sincere apology. He acknowledged that the police should have never been called,” Ahmed said.
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