A Saint Paul Chipotle manager was fired after a now-viral video with more than seven million views on Twitter appeared to show her asking a group of black men for payment before making their food.
But information about the men in the video, particularly Masud Ali, immediately began to surface online, revealing that Ali had repeatedly bragged about dining and dashing online, and was twice convicted of theft in Minnesota.
“You gotta pay because you never have money when you come in here,” the manager can be heard saying in the video, prompting the men to accuse her of “making accusations” and “basically stereotyping” them.
“Can a group of young well established African Americans get a bite to eat after a long workout session? Ali tweeted with the video, calling the manger’s behavior “unacceptable.”
— Masud Ali 🍑 (@Masudaliii) November 16, 2018
While the men have since contested that they previously visited the establishment, one man in the video can be heard saying, “you know me, I be here everyday.”
Corporate Chipotle quickly caved to online pressure, and fired the manager in question, arguing that they had “no choice” but to do so.
“Regarding what happened at the Saint Paul restaurant, the manager thought these gentlemen were the same customers from Tuesday night who weren’t able to pay for their meal. Regardless, this is not how we treat our customers and as a result, the manager has been terminated and the restaurant has been retrained to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again,” the company said in a statement.
After the manger’s termination, reporters almost instantly uncovered several online comments made by Ali in which he brags about stealing from restaurants and even suggests assaulting female employees to get away with it.
“Guys we’re borrowing food…that’s it and if the lady tries to stop you at the door don’t hesitate to truck the s— out of that b—-,” Ali wrote in a 2015 tweet that has since been deleted, The Daily Caller reports.
In other tweets, Ali writes that “dine and dash is forever interesting,” and again says that “we’re just borrowing food.”
@ChipotleTweets you need to look deeper into this. That manager had obviously previously dealt with these guys who don’t pay. They’ve bragged about STEALING from your business (and others) serveral times.
You should have your employees’ backs instead of the immediate optics. pic.twitter.com/JkdLBMo7ep
— Tony (@SeriouslySerio) November 17, 2018
“We finna goto [sic] Applebees and eat as much as we can and tip the nice lady 20 cents and walk the f— out,” he said in another post.
Dozens of other tweets show Ali making comments such as, “I ain’t broke I just don’t wanna [sic] by [sic] Chipotle,” and admitting to “taking the Chipotle Tabasco sauce” because “it felt so natural to me.”
Here’s the tweets directly pertaining to Chipotle.
Not only are these guys broke thieves, but they intentially got a woman fired for protecting her store (and still handling the situation with class while being yelled at by a pack of camera-wielders hoping to go viral.) pic.twitter.com/qjlVQHs2ok
— Tony (@SeriouslySerio) November 17, 2018
Minnesota court records appear to show that Ali has twice been convicted of theft, one time resulting in a year of probation.
Chipotle later claimed that its “actions were based on the facts known to us immediately after the incident.”
“We now have additional information which needs to be investigated further. We want to do the right thing, so after further investigation, we’ll re-train and re-hire if the facts warrant it,” the company wrote on Twitter, but some reporters claim that Chipotle was aware of Ali’s prior behavior before the termination.
Matt Palumbo posted to Twitter a screenshot of an email in which a member of Chipotle’s media relations team admits to him that they “did see these previous posts from Masud Ali while we were investigating the claim yesterday.”
A GoFundMe was later started for the manager by her coworkers, who say that “she loved her job, loves people and did not deserve the unfortunate chain of events that occurred this week.”
“I don’t feel she deserved to be without pay for protecting her team and I want to fight for her,” the fundraiser states. “Hopefully this GoFundMe can support her through the holidays.”
The manager has reportedly been offered her job back, but it is unclear if she has accepted the offer.
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