BOSTON (CBS) – The owner of a Boston clothing and shoe store is accused of engaging in a pattern of discrimination against customers.
A complaint filed by Attorney General Maura Healey alleges that Hicham Ali “Sam” Hassan, the owner and manager of The Tannery in the Back Bay, broke the law “by denying service to an African American man and a Middle Eastern woman shopping in the store based on their race, national origin, and/or immigration status.”READ MORE: 582 At Massachusetts Schools Test Positive For COVID-19 In Last 2 Weeks
Healey’s office says that in December of 2017, an African-American shopper tried to enter the store about 20 minutes before it closed. Hassan allegedly went up to him and said “What’s up brother man?” while preventing the shopper from entering.
The complaint alleges that when the black customer asked why he couldn’t go in the store while other white people were being let in, Hassan responded “he did not want [his] kind in [the] store.” Hassan also suggested the man couldn’t afford to shop there and said he didn’t want his money, the complaint says.
Another alleged incident occurred in March of 2017. The complaint states that Hassan kept asking a shopper of Middle Eastern descent where she was from. The woman had been trying to ask about a pair of boots, but Hassan allegedly told her that he didn’t trust immigrants and “I love Trump! I am glad he is going to get rid of all the immigrants,” the complaint says. After the woman decided to leave, Hassan allegedly yelled at her to get out and told her he didn’t “trust [her] people.”READ MORE: Friday Marks First Anniversary Of Boston Biogen Conference Super Spreader Event
Healey’s office said it believes there’s a larger pattern of discrimination at the store. Anyone who had a similar experience at the Tannery is asked to call the office at 617-963-2917 or to file an online complaint here.MORE NEWS: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
Healey said her office wants the court to order The Tannery to comply with anti-discrimination laws, and is seeking compensation for the victims.