Man files racial discrimination suit against diamond store
Man files discrimination lawsuit against diamond store
AUSTIN – An Austin man has filed a lawsuit against a local jewelry store, claiming racial discrimination while he was there in March.
Joseph Carroll claims the owner of Bjorkheims Diamonds threatened him with a shotgun and used a racial slur. While Carroll and a friend were browsing several counters, the friend noticed the owner had a gun and was moving toward them. Both then quickly left the store.
Carroll, the NAACP and his attorneys claim his rights were violated.
“There are laws on the books protecting people’s civil rights, but laws don’t mean anything unless we are protecting them and vigorously enforcing them against people who violate them. What happened in Mr. Carroll’s case is outrageous and we as a society can’t allow that to happen,” said Carroll’s attorney Brian McGiverin.
Bjorkheims Diamonds owner Leif Bjorkheim did not want to go on camera with KVUE, but did say it was Carroll and his friend’s behavior that made him suspicious.
Bjorkheim also said both men were asked to leave the store several times but refused. He added he never pointed a gun at them or used a racial slur.