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Cars Pack Sonic Drive-Thru Line in Protest After Employee Threatens to Call Police on Black Teens

Hundreds of Dallasites lined up in their vehicles with signs and chants to protest the threat

Close up of Sonic drive-in logo
Sonic Drive-In
Photo by: Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Over the weekend, thousands of Dallasites protested the mistreatment of a group of black teenagers at a North Dallas Sonic Drive-In location by filling up the drive-thru.

The incident that sparked the protest took place on Friday, May 29, when an employee at the Sonic Drive-In location at 3023 Inwood Road threatened to call the police on the group of six black teens after they got out of their cars to eat together outside, according to WFAA. The teens said that other groups of white young people ate their meals in the exact same place afterward undisturbed.

Scope out some photos from the protest via WFAA photographer Alex Brown:

In response, hundreds of cars occupied the drive-thru lane on Sunday in protest of the incident. Some carried signs in support of the teens, while others stood up out of their sunroofs and chanted. The protest prompted Sonic Drive-In to issue a statement apologizing to the teens involved in the incident, and announcing plans to introduce “consistent unconscious bias training,” per NBC DFW.

Read the statement in full below:

Sonic unequivocally opposes racism and intolerance of any kind. We celebrate diversity and strive to consistently create an environment that highly values inclusion.

Unfortunately, a recent event at our Drive-In restaurant in Dallas, Texas, was handled inappropriately and did not live up to our standards. As soon as we were alerted to the situation by the families involved, we engaged in a valuable discussion on race, equality and a deeper understanding of social justice issues and ways we can improve as a company.

Sonic deeply and sincerely apologizes to the teenagers involved in the incident. We simply must do better going forward. To that end, we are revising our policy to ensure the appropriate level of manager is involved in handling matters with our guests. We are also bolstering our training program to include consistent unconscious bias training, with a focus on the African American experience, as we foster a more inclusive environment for our team members and guests.

We thank the families involved for their productive and positive discussion and look forward to our continued conversations.

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