Wednesday, December 27, 2006
In the fall of 1997, several Asian and Asian American students waited to be seated at Denny's Restaurant in Syracuse, New York. After waiting inside for some time without any acknowledgement, the group placed their names on the waiting list. Groups of white males, who arrived subsequently, experienced no delay and were seated immediately. When the students questioned why they were not being seated, they were asked to leave the restaurant and were escorted out by two Denny's security guards.
Once outside, one of the guards pushed a Japanese student. Suddenly, a group of at least ten white males came out of the restaurant shouting racial epithets and attacked one of the students.
As the victims' friends came to their aid, they were also attacked. The Denny security guards stood by and watched, but did not step in to help. Finally, two African American students, who had also been waiting inside, broke in and pulled away the white males. By then, four of the Asian American students had been injured, two being beaten unconscious. When police finally arrived, the fight had ended and the group of white males had left the scene.
Five months later, following an investigation, the Onondaga County District Attorney's office concluded that no hate crime had been committed. The District Attorney claimed that everything, from beginning to end, appeared to have been orchestrated by the Asian American students to further their political cause.