Vancouver restaurant says asking man to prepay wasn't racism

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Vancouver restaurant accused of racially discriminating against an Oregon sheriff's deputy says their decision to make him prepay for his meal was a matter of policy, not racism.

Multnomah County sheriff's deputy Brian Eason filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Elmer's restaurant chain, claiming he was told to prepay for his breakfast in December 2014 because he is black.

The Oregonian reports that an Elmer's representative told state investigators that Eason was asked to prepay for his meal because he sat in the lounge area, where customers had previously left without paying.

Eason filed a complaint with the Washington State Human Rights Commission in January after the incident occurred. He filed a $100,000 racial discrimination lawsuit against the restaurant after the commission closed the case without taking action.