TAMPA, Fla. (WFTS/CNN) – A 7-Eleven store in Tampa is apologizing after one if its employees was filmed berating a customer for speaking Spanish.
Yasmany Rodriguez recorded video of the clerk yelling at him after he asked for a pack of cigarettes in broken English.
He said the clerk asked him to specify which pack he wanted, and Rodriguez responded in Spanish. The clerk then asked him if he was in the country illegally.
“Listen to me,” the clerk is heard saying. “Are you here legally? Do you have papers?”
In the video, his tone gets louder and more aggressive as bystanders tell him Rodriguez is indeed an American citizen.
“Does he speak English?” the clerk continues. “Then why doesn’t he speak English if he’s here legally?”
Rodriguez moved to Tampa from Cuba two years ago. He became a US citizen after his mother petitioned for him to come to America under the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program.
His lawyer, George Lorenzo, said he works full-time and is in the process of learning English.
A spokesperson for 7-Eleven released the following statement to WFTS:
“Every customer is important. The statements made by the sales associate were inappropriate and offensive. We are investigating the matter and will ensure it is handled appropriately.”
A store manager also said the situation has been handled, but would not elaborate.
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