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Sandwich highlights issue of race relations in Buffalo

We're told employee involved has been fired
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Posted at 9:25 PM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 11:10:23-04

A sandwich is now shining a spotlight on the issue of race relations in the City of Buffalo.

John Washington of Push Buffalo, took a picture of a sandwich he says he purchased on Wednesday at Guercio and Sons on Grant Street. 

He tells 7 Eyewitness News, the woman who waited on him first made comments about his appearance. Washington is African-American. He says the conversation then escalated with the worker saying he resembled a monkey or a gorilla.

After picking-up his order, Washington says he noticed a sketch of what appeared to be a monkey on his sandwich wrapper. 

When we spoke with Washington on the phone Wednesday evening, he told us he hopes this incident sparks a broader conversation about racism in the Queen City.

"I want people in the city to have a serious conversation about racism," said Washington. "We have some serious issues with race going on in Buffalo right now. Some people say we have a Buffalo Boom, I say our communities are being destroyed and further racially segregated and very intentionally."

In a press release, Guercio and Sons said they have reached out to Mr. Washington to apologize directly. They added they are in contact with PUSH Buffalo to open up "public dialogue". 

"We do not condone, or tolerate the type of behavior exhibited by our former employee, and as soon as we became aware of what had happened, we terminated the employee immdiately," wrote one of the owners of Guercio and Sons.