After being caught on video using racial slur during a confrontation with black customers, which ended up with him getting a bruised eye, an elderly furniture store owner defends himself.
Terry Pace, a furniture store owner from Southaven, Mississippi, talked to local news station WREG on May 20 to give his side of the story about his violent episode with black customers, and he doesn’t deny to have used a racial slur.
Journalist Jonee Lewis tried to reach out to Pace for comment, stopping by his business “Hometown Furniture” after the footage of the episode surfaced, but the store was closed.
Lewis met with Pace at the latter’s home, and he showed no regrets over having used a derogatory term against his customers.
"I don't care what they say. I did what I felt like was right. You weren't there. You didn't hear it. You didn't hear all the stuff I heard,” he told Lewis.
“I called the n-word when it was over with. When it was all over with, and they kept mouthing off to me. Yes, ma'am, I used the n-word," Pace said.
"I couldn't believe it. You hear people on TV saying these things, but to hear it in person just so aggressively was really off-putting," a witness shared with the news outlet.
But despite Pace’s claims about being provoked and attacked, which he believes justifies his hateful speech, people who work nearby shared that it is not the first time he makes offensive comments about the African-American community.
"He was like, 'No. I don't finance, because the only people that want to get furniture financed is the colored. And they don't pay their bills.' Yes. This is what he told me, and I let that go," said business owner Marvin Clark.
Terry Pace's store in Southaven, Mississippi. I Image: YouTube/ WREG News Channel 3
Pace has reportedly been the subject of several complaints to the property manager, even when he has only been using the location for two months.
Other business owners of the Plaza worry about how Pace’s bad reputation could push customers away, and they expressed their disagreement with him and how they are expecting him to leave.
"We need to come out here and support the businesses. We need to come out here and support Southaven and uplift it. We don't plan on having him stay," Property Manager Radhya Spencer said.
While society at large seems to condemn this kind of verbal attack towards a minority, there are unfortunately many people in the US who still think it is acceptable to belittle and offend others for the color of their skin.
Police officers are no exception to this racist behavior, as the Black Lives Matter movement has worked so hard to denounce since 2015.
Recently, an episode involving a police officer shouting racial slur to a group of black men at a McDonald’s in Montgomery County, Maryland, prompted the county’s council members to demand the release of footage from the officer’s body camera.
One of the men that were confronted by a white female officer outside the fast-food chain restaurant managed to capture part of the incident with his cell phone, and now the county’s council members want her bodycam video as additional evidence.
"I couldn't believe it. I could not believe it and I couldn't believe her face that she made. She thought it was actually a cool thing to say and it's not. She even said it was appropriate," the man named Larry Tucker said.
After nine council members signed a letter demanding the police department to release the officer’s body camera footage, the local authorities agreed to release about 13 minutes of it.
In addition to this, the Montgomery County police issued a public apology and promised to look further into the case.
“From the moment we became aware of this concerning incident, the Department immediately initiated an Internal Affairs investigation into the event and all employees involved on the same day it occurred,” they stated.
“We understand the importance of this matter and how it impacts our credibility and relationships with the community. We also understand the pain and deep concern this incident has caused to so many people,” the statement added.