Darius Leonard of the Colts says racial profiling fueled the Chipotle incident

Colts linebacker Darius Leonard said he and his family were thrown out of a Chipotle after being racially profiled Thursday in Florence, South Carolina.

The Chipotle CEO said an investigation is underway after Leonard detailed the incident in an Instagram video. Leonard, 24, who is black, said that he, three other black men and a mixed-race woman were sitting in Chipotle eating when the restaurant manager approached them to ask if they had a problem. Leonard said the manager claimed that a white man had accused them of verbally abusing him.

“It was basically a lie,” said Leonard. “Basically we got kicked out of Chipotle for that. And they said they were going to call the police, or they wanted to call us the police.

“That is being black in the United States right now. We don’t even do anything wrong, we go out to eat with her family, we just try to spend some quality time and we can’t even enjoy eating anymore. We are talking about Black Lives Matter, and for the guy to look at us and lie and laugh in our faces when we go out, and the manager shows up and basically kicked us out of Chipotle, we felt he was very disrespectful. “

Leonard’s description of the incident elicited a response from Chipotle on Thursday night.

“We are currently investigating the incident that involved Darius Leonard in Florence, South Carolina,” Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol said in a statement released at various outlets. “We have a zero tolerance policy for any type of discrimination and we have suspended our manager while conducting a thorough investigation. I personally contacted Darius and I am committed to ensuring that appropriate action is taken once the investigation is complete. “

Leonard, the 2018 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and an All-Pro team in 2019, is a native of South Carolina and was drafted in the state of South Carolina.

“We know that if that manager had called the police at that time, we know what would have happened,” said Leonard. “And it’s wrong in the United States. And they wonder why all the protests and all those things are happening right now.

“We are tired of this. We are tired of it. And all white people don’t understand what we went through. This is very frustrating. Very frustrating. And you don’t feel our damn pain. If you sit in our damn shoes for a day and just walk outside and really feel what we went through, you would understand. Some of you must realize that we are not just saying that black lives are the only thing that matters. What we are saying is that we want to be treated equally. Just sit in public, sit and eat without being disturbed. That is what we are talking about.