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Joe’s Crab Shack used photo of black man’s hanging as decor

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Updated: Friday, March 11, 2016, 5:26 AM

Customers at a Joe’s Crab Shack in Minnesota said they left the restaurant “sickened” this week, though it had nothing to do with the food and everything to do with the decoration.

Tyrone Williams and Chauntyll Allen were at the national chain’s Roseville location on Wednesday night when they looked down at their table and saw a picture of what appeared to be a lynching.

The picture, which showed a large group of white people at the public hanging of a black man, was labeled “Hanging at Groesbeck, Texas on April 12th 1895.”

“All I said was ‘I don’t like the gumbo!” said a joking speech bubble coming from the executioner’s stand.

Tyrone Williams and Chauntyll Allen went to a Roseville, Minn., Joe's Crab Shack for dinner but left after seeing this picture of an 1895 hanging.Tyrone Williams via Facebook

Tyrone Williams and Chauntyll Allen went to a Roseville, Minn., Joe’s Crab Shack for dinner but left after seeing this picture of an 1895 hanging.

According to records from the Death Penalty Information Center, the man being hung was Richard Burleson.

Law journals from the time say that he was convicted of killing a man with a rock in 1894, though Allen said the justice system in the late 19th century was used to go after black people and execute them.

“As you can imagine, seeing that image ruined my appetite and my pre-birthday dinner. It is hard to believe that this type of racism is still going on in 2016,” Allen said in a statement published by the NAACP.

Williams (far right) and Allen (second from right) rejected an offer of free food from the restaurant and demanded an apology, as well as the picture's removal.KARE 11 News

Williams (far right) and Allen (second from right) rejected an offer of free food from the restaurant and demanded an apology, as well as the picture’s removal.

Williams and Allen left the restaurant without eating, and also rejected an offer of free food.

The distressed diners and the NAACP later demanded an apology, the removal of the table and a charitable donation from Joe’s Crab Shack owner Ignite Restaurant Group.

The table was removed, and late Thursday Ignite Restaurant Group released a statement to KARE that said, “We understand on the photos used in our table decor at our Joe’s Crab Shack location in Roseville, MN was offensive.”

It is not clear if the picture appears at other locations of the Texas-based restaurant.KARE 11 News

It is not clear if the picture appears at other locations of the Texas-based restaurant.

It was not immediately clear if the picture was present in other locations for the Texas-based company, of which there are nearly 100 around the country.

Follow on Twitter @CKozalBrennan.

cbrennan@nydailynews.com


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