Several protesters gathered outside a Syracuse Dunkin’ Donuts after a video went viral on Facebook, showing an employee dumping water on a sleeping homeless man.
The employees involved in the now-viral video have been suspended, the company said in a statement.
About 20 people gathered outside the Dunkin’ at the corner of North Salina and East Division Street. They held up signs that read “Homeless Lives Matter” and “Homeless are Human.”
The video, which surfaced over the weekend, appears to show an employee at the store in question coming up behind a sleeping man and dumping a pitcher of water on him.
The man springs awake, checking to see if his phone was damaged by the water.
The employee in the video says he won’t call the police, but wanted the man out of his store.
“How many times do I gotta tell you to stop sleeping in here, [expletive],” the employee is heard saying in the video.
“It was an accident,” the man mumbled in reply.
The person filming the video is laughing in the background.
Kimberly Wolak, Dunkin’ Franchisee and Chief Operating Officer issued the following statement:
Dunkin’ has been a part of the Syracuse community for many years, and as the franchisees who own and operate the North Salina Street location, we were extremely disturbed by the behavior of our employees captured in the video.
It not only violated our written policies, but goes against our core values as an organization–which include creating a welcoming and hospitable environment and treating everyone with dignity and respect.
The employees involved in the incident have been suspended pending a complete investigation, and we will be contacting the individual in the video to apologize for the negative experience.
We also intend to work with local advocates to make sure that our employees are better educated as to how to engage with homeless individuals and where to direct them in the community for appropriate assistance.