A social media backlash continues to erupt in response to a Facebook post that Jason Keebler published Wednesday afternoon at around 3 p.m. The post included a photo that shows Cartopia chicken cart co-owner Dustin Knox on the phone, allegedly calling the police on a black customer, Kevin Raysor, for “loitering.”
The post also quotes Raysor, who allegedly said “I was asked to leave the food court on the corner of Hawthorne for no reason... He said I was homeless and loitering... What I was doing was waiting for [Chicken & Guns] to open so I could eat before my final [exam]s.” In the comments section, Raysor adds that Knox waved over a police officer to escort Raysor off the premises. Raysor said the officer was “polite.”
Police told Eater Portland they have no available records of a 911 call made from Cartopia on Wednesday night, though temporary public information officer Sergeant Peter Simpson says it’s hard to trace without a direct cell phone number.
Multiple commenters shared screenshots of a NextDoor thread, where user Gina Carlton said she also witnessed Knox harassing “a man of color” within the pod. “Dustin started yelling at him, ‘if you don’t get out of here, I will snap your dog’s neck’,” she writes.
In the comments section of the same thread, user Alex Williams shared a similar experience he had at an earlier date: “My girlfriend, who is Asian, was hanging out there one night this past winter,” he writes. “She was approached by the owner, who immediately asked if she was homeless, then told her to leave.”
Some commenters also came to Knox’s defense, like user Kharma Vella. “I’ve known Dustin for years and have witnessed the daily bullshit he has to deal with at Cartopia,” he writes. “Some of you may have had some negative interactions with him in the past but he’s not a bad guy.”
The Bureau of Labor and Industries have no records of civil rights complaints made against Knox or Chicken & Guns, although Knox had a wage complaint on his record, according to the Bureau of Labor and Industries.
The initial Facebook post was set to private by Keebler at around 11 p.m. Wednesday, who said he had done so per Raysor’s request. “Earlier I had a post up about a food cart that hassled my friend Kevin Raysor. He’s asked me to take it down so I have privated the post,” he writes. “I know this will disappoint some people.. but (sic) The same friend that I put it up to support asked me to take it down.” Since the post was removed, Facebook users continued to post on the cart’s Facebook page, including screenshots of the original post with captions like “Time’s Up racist.” The Facebook page appears to have been deleted or removed.
Restaurant consultant agency Title Bout, which represents Chicken & Guns, said they’d share a statement but didn’t reveal a timeline; stay tuned for updates.
Update, July 30, 2018, 9:53 a.m.
This story was updated to include details about the Facebook page being deleted and the fact that Kharma Vella is male.
Alex Frane contributed to reporting for this story.