Attorneys consider lawsuit against Denny’s after racial-profiling incident

Meet the attorneys defending racially profiled truck drivers
Meet the attorneys defending racially profiled truck drivers(Cordell Wright)
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 8:17 PM MDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - As we first alerted you two weeks ago, the two black truck drivers who were refused service at a Sioux Falls Denny’s last month were joined by their attorneys in a news conference Monday.

They’re continuing to speak out about the racism and humiliation that they felt that day.

”August 13, 2023 we went back in time. We went back to Jim Crow where black and brown people weren’t allowed to sit at lunch counters,” Harry Daniels said, a civil rights attorney.

At the press conference, we got our first introduction to Daniels and Erica Wilson, the attorneys representing Damon Whitfield and Hector Madera.

“We’re hoping that both myself and attorney Daniels can not only provide the best advocacy to our clients but we can provide advocacy in such a way that this never happens to anybody at any other establishment because of what we do here with Denny’s,” Wilson said.

Both Whitfield and Madera continue to voice how they’ve never encountered racism like this.

“It was embarrassing. I’ve never been kicked out of any place in my life. Then when the police were called on us like that, I couldn’t help but feel like they were intending for the police to come at us aggressively,” Whitfield said.

“This is an opportunity to bring awareness to a situation that’s unfortunate for us, there are many people out there that go through this stuff and a lot of this stuff is swept under the rug. I think more needs to be done about it. Denny’s need to be held accountable,” Madera said.

After the release of the 911 call, we learned the regional manager on the other end of the phone wasn’t even in the store at the time the call was made.

“Who doubled down on what was said without even having true knowledge of it, of what happened. That person is held equally responsible because they told law enforcement something that was not true, and I’m not going to go into the legal leaves of it, me and Erica will deal with that later,” Daniels said.

At this time no lawsuit has been formally filed which is why we’ve chosen not to yet release the names of the Denny’s staff members involved.

Attorney Daniels did say a lawsuit could be expected soon.

“We can’t go back and turn back the hands of time on what Hector and Damon felt, but we can assure and file a lawsuit, a claim, to ensure, and hope that Denny’s would take responsibility for its actions and what responsibility looks like, we’ll find out,” Daniels said.