US Army Veteran Ernest Walker (pictured) had his free Veteran’s Day meal taken away from him at a Chili’s in Cedar Hill, Texas.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, November 24, 2016, 2:32 PM
An Army veteran who was denied a free meal at a Chili’s restaurant had to temporarily move out of his home because he’s been receiving threats after news report published his contact information on air, his attorney said.
Attorney Lee Merritt said his client Ernest Walker had received threats after a news outlet revealed his address and phone number during a segment about the Chili’s incident, which the restaurant’s parent has since apologized for, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Walker posted a video to Facebook of a Chili’s manager in Cedar Hills denying him a free cheeseburger on Veterans Day after a customer questioned the uniform he was wearing, despite Walker showing his military identification and discharge papers.
“He (the manager) really made me feel like I was almost like a slave who had to show paperwork to show my freedom,” Walker told CNN’s Don Lemon of the racism he said he encountered.
“I do believe that I was singled out, as a black man, in that restaurant,” he said. “I’ve had racism, but just to be as bold as he was — he felt like he had the right to do this to me, and the manager participated in that.”
The news report sparked people to call Walker from unknown numbers and telling him “I know where you live” with additional threats on social media, Merritt said.
Retail Signs Chilis Restaurant
(David Kozlowski/Moment Editorial/Getty Images)
Brinker International, which owns Chili’s, said it’s taking Walker’s situation “very seriously.”
The Chili’s manager has been removed from the job, according to the restaurant’s chain president.
Walker and the company have been in talks to address the issue and he hopes a campaign could stem from it to help Veterans obtain meals, his attorney told the newspaper.
As a result of the media frenzy, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban reportedly offered Walker two season tickets to a Mavericks game Wednesday and for the rest of the season, TMZ reported.