An Indigenous woman in Nanaimo shared a tearful account of an alleged racial profiling incident after she visited a local Tim Hortons over the weekend.
The woman, who goes by the name Ashleigh Lori-anne on Facebook, started a live video immediately after leaving the store that she says she was kicked out of, on Saturday June 27.
According to her, she was standing in line at the front counter of the Tim Hortons located at 519 Fifth Street and asked to use the washroom but was told that they could not allow her to unless she paid for something—but that’s not the only reason she was given.
“The guy specifically at the counter told me that he couldn’t let me in because I look suspicious of having drug paraphernalia,” says Lori-anne, in between sobs.
At this, both Lori-anne and another customer standing in line beside here questioned the employee, asking him why he needed to say anything about drug paraphernalia.
Lori-anne was then asked to leave the store, after which she began filming her video.
In an updated comment the next day, she stated that the witness and another customer who saw the incident will be helping her file a formal complaint against the Tim Hortons branch.
“I’ve never had that happen to me. I got kicked out of a store because they assumed because of the colour of my skin that I have drug paraphernalia on me, and that hurts,” she goes on in the video.
Since it was first uploaded, Lori-anne’s video has been viewed 106,000 times, shared by nearly 2,000 people, and received over 1,000 comments.
Victoria Buzz has reached out to Tim Hortons for further information about this incident, but have not heard back in time for publication.
An employee at the 519 Fifth St store declined to comment on the incident.
I experienced racism/racial profiling in Tim Hortons on 519 Fifth St in Nanaimo BC.* Edit – I added a photo of the man and Google map location in the comments
Posted by Ashleigh Lori-anne on Saturday, June 27, 2020