COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — Several workers at an Ohio cafe staged a walkout Saturday morning to boycott the restaurant.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, employees at Northstar Cafe wanted to protest recent decisions made by the restaurant’s management.
At Northstar, uniformed officers and firefighters reportedly received a 50% off discount.
The staff reportedly decided to discount on Wednesday to show their solidarity with protesters. However, the restaurant faced backlash and reinstated the promotion on Friday.
This prompted at least one employee to quit working at the establishment and others to participate in a demonstration. About 20 employees at Northstar’s Westerville location walked out Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Darren Malhame, co-owner of Northstar Cafe, spoke to the employees saying, “I know many of you disagree with the decision to resume the discount for police and firefighters, which is understandable in light of recent events. Our early response was rooted in emotion.”
Malhame’s statement didn’t change the opinion of most employees though.
“Silence is violence,” one employee told the newspaper. “It is time that Northstar takes a proactive stance and takes a complete and unwavering support of black lives matter.”
Kevin Malhame, another co-owner of Northstar Cafe, released the following statement regarding the incident to the Columbus Dispatch:
“Our early response to the current unrest around the country was made quickly and emotionally. It involved suspending a long-standing discount for police and firefighters. We regret the decision and have continued the discount program.”
This walkout comes after several protests were held in Columbus, and across the nation, demanding justice for George Floyd.
Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day after an officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder.
The three other officers at the scene — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. All four were fired following the incident.
While many protesters in Columbus peacefully demonstrated, some turned violent and engaged in rioting behaviors. Two weekends ago Governor Mike DeWine activated the National Guard to assist with the violence in the city. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther also established a city-wide curfew that was just lifted on Saturday.