Joe’s Crab Shack Apologizes for Photo of Black Man Being Hanged

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Credit: Tyrone Williams via Facebook
Credit: Tyrone Williams via Facebook

ROSEVILLE, Minn. — A Minnesota restaurant is under fire after a customer posted a photo of table decor showing a black man being hanged.

Tyrone Williams and Chauntyll Allen were at Joe’s Crab Shack when they were seated at a table with an embedded photo of a public hanging. The photo is captioned, “Hanging at Groesbeck, Texas on April 12, 1895.” A balloon caption in the photo reads, “All I said was I don’t like the gumbo!”

Williams posted the photo to Facebook March 9, with this caption:

“This is on our table at Joe’s Crab shack in Roseville, MN it’s the lynching of two black men in Groesbeck, Texas in 1895 they we’re accused of robbing and murdering a white man with a rock it’s sad this is the image we have to look at in a Crab shack that has nothing to do with Texas it’s crazy how a brother can’t get a break me and Chauntyll Allen can’t get a break lol we just wanted some all you can eat Crab legs smh and now we got to go. We can’t take this sh** no mo”

The couple commented that the manager did apologize, but they still chose to leave. “I had to leave the establishment. The days are over where we contribute to this white supremacist society and allow this public display of the trauma of us! This is unacceptable!” Allen posted, with a #‎blacklivesmatter hashtag.

Joe’s Crab Shack’s parent company, Ignite Restaurant Group, issued an apology, saying the image was removed and acknowledging the photo was offensive.

“We sincerely apologize to our guests who were disturbed by the image and we look forward to continuing to serve the Roseville community,” COO David Catalano said in a statement.

But it’s not over for Williams, who posted screen shots of some of the messages he says he’s been getting since posting the photo. “These racist people are all in my inbox I woke up to 100 new message I told myself not to read them but I couldn’t help it. This is sad,” he said. One message said, “You’re hero was a murderer who was legally hung. I’m sure u happy OJ wasn’t convicted too. F*** OFF rabble rousing petulant perpetual victim piece of s***.”

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, the man being hanged in Groesbeck, about 100 miles south of DFW, was 21-year-old Richard Burleson; records show he was hanged for Robbery-Murder in a legal execution.

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