19-year-old admits to writing racist message on Arby’s sign
Brooklyn Center police have their man. Police tell CCX News that someone has admitted to posting a racist and offensive message on a Brooklyn Center Arby’s restaurant sign.
A Brooklyn Center police officer discovered the tampered sign along Brooklyn Boulevard early last Saturday morning. The message said “Now hiring” followed by both racial and sexist slurs. The incident sparked anger with Brooklyn Center Mayor Tim Willson calling it a “hate crime.” According to police, no one connected with Arby’s was involved with the incident.
Suspect “Thought It Would Be Funny”
Usindini Colling-Harper, 19, of Minneapolis, is charged with defamation, a gross misdemeanor; as well as disorderly conduct and public nuisance charges, both misdemeanors. Punishment could include jail time and hundreds of dollars in fines.
According to the criminal complaint, Colling-Harper told police he changed the letters because he “was bored” waiting for a bus and “thought it would be funny.” Colling-Harper also admitted to taking a picture of the sign and posting it on Facebook. That social media post helped police make the arrest.
Innocent Employees Harassed Because of Incident
The fallout from the incident has significantly impacted Arby’s employees. The restaurant manager told police they had to unplug their phones because people have made threatening and harassing phone calls. The manager says her employees are afraid to come to work even though they are just as much offended by the content of the sign. The complaint says the business has also suffered a considerable loss in revenue due to the suspect’s actions.