The man who police believe pulled a gun on Muslim teenagers at a Twin Cities-area McDonald's has been arrested. Authorities in the Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie arrested Lloyd Edward Johnson after a video that allegedly shows Johnson pulling his weapon during an argument in the fast food restaurant's lobby went viral.
According to the teens involved, the 55-year-old confronted them after they attempted to use ApplePay to pay for their meal. When the transaction failed, Johnson accused them of using food stamps to pay for the food. 16-year-old Farida Asman, who recorded the clip, said that her friend Jihan and Johnson began to argue.
"Jihan said, 'Just because I'm black does not mean I use EBT.'" she explained in an interview with BuzzFeed. "Basically after that, he was trying to say, 'You do use EBT,' and Jihan was saying, 'No I don’t,' and telling him to stop being racist."
Friends tried to step in between Johnson and the young woman, which led to Johnson allegedly pulling his gun. In the video clip, the group of teens can be seen running away from Johnson after they claim he drew a weapon. In the video, you can see Johnson shove one of the teenagers before they run to the other side of the restaurant.
Asman originally shared the video to call out McDonald's for employees of the store shouting at them to leave immediately after the incident. Another man in the restaurant interceded to say that the children would be in danger in the parking lot, as Johnson had just walked outside. Though nearby Minneapolis just elected the first Somali American to Congress, racist attitudes still persist in the area, and Asman said that she believes the entire incident comes down to race.
"I think it’s because we were black and Muslim," she said. "I've had people being racist towards me before, but I've never had a gun pulled on me until now."
Johnson is being held without bail in a Hennepin County jail. While he's being held in connection with second-degree assault (likely stemming from the shove seen on video), the Eden Prairie police say "the case will be referred to the Hennepin County Attorney’s office for a charging decision."