UPDATED: Empire Toyota of Huntington said Thursday that it had fired two employees who shouted racial slurs at a Latina woman and her family on a Long Island Rail Road train Monday night.
“Empire Toyota ownership and management were outraged by the event involving tow of its employees this past Monday night on the Long Island Rail Road. The two employees were suspended when we first heard about this incident, and, as our investigation just concluded, they have been terminated. The heart and soul of our labor force is extremely diverse and we value our employees beyond description. Further, our company’s deep support–financial and in-kind–of Long Island’s diverse communities is a matter of public record. We can say without hesitation that whatever occurred on that LIRR train is in no way reflective of our company, its ownership , its management team nor its employees.”
Osman Canales, a Latino activist, had posted information, including a video, about the incident on Facebook, writing that the family had been traveling home on the Ronkonkoma line after attending a Knicks game. In the video, one man can be heard cursing at the family, telling people not to look at him, and then saying, “I’m going to get arrest tonight,” When someone else told him the confrontation wasn’t worth it, the man continued, “I know it’s north worth it. These *^&%X foreigners aren’t taking over my $&^@ country.” At one point, a woman could be heard saying, “You have no rights here,” though it wasn’t clear who was talking, and then a stream of beer or other liquid hits a passenger. What led to the confrontation wasn’t clear.
“The family are pressing charges and they asked for us to share this to expose these people,” Canales wrote, and said Empire should fire the two employees, who he named. “I am in contact with the family and they really need our support. They are very concern and traumatized by this aggression. They confirmed what happened to them.”
Canales quoted one of the victims as saying, “Please help me catch this couple that harassed me because I’m an immigrant. They also threw beer at us (my friend also has an accent.) My 10 year old witnessed this.”
The fired employee’s Facebook page identified him as a used-car salesman at Empire.