Washington police apologize for removing black man from shop

KIRKLAND, Wash. — Police in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland apologized this week for helping the owner of a frozen yogurt shop kick out a black man because employees said they felt uncomfortable.

The owner called officers on Nov. 7 about Byron Ragland, who works as a court-appointed special advocate and was supervising a court-sanctioned outing between a mother and her son, The Seattle Times reported.

Officers responded and told him that the owner of the Menchie’s yogurt shop wanted him to leave. Ragland left without incident.

Outrage led police to announce they have launched an internal investigation, and the city apologized Monday. Officials didn’t say if the officers violated any laws or policies.


The owner of the Washington state yogurt shop, Ramon Cruz, apologized Monday. He had called police on Ragland after his employees said they were ‘‘kind of scared because he looks suspicious.’’

Police arrived and requested Ragland’s ‘‘full information’’ and the names of the woman and boy he was with, according to a police report. Ragland, a nine-year Air Force veteran, told officers the request to leave was ‘‘not necessary’’ but left the store without complaining.

Cruz said he had previously encouraged employees to call the police if they felt uncomfortable but will now instruct them to call him. Cruz said he will then visit the store and determine whether to call police.