A White woman in Mississippi has been fired by Kampgrounds of America after video of her pullingt a gun on a Black couple who attempted to have a picnic at a lake went viral, CBS affiliate WCBI reports.
Jessica Richardson and her husband, Army National Guard Sgt. Franklin Richardson, were in search of a place to have a picnic with their 2-year-old dog during the Memorial Day weekend. Within minutes of their arrival at the Kampgrounds of America location on Oktibbeha County Lake, they were approached by a manager who pulled out a gun and ordered them to leave.
In a video posted to her Facebook account, Jessica said, “This lady literally just pulled a gun because we’re out here and didn’t have reservations, for a lake that we didn’t even know we had to have reservations for.”
As the woman walked closer, Jessica continued, “The only thing you had to do was tell us.”
The woman, who has not been identified, put her gun back into her denim shorts and said, “Well, I’m just telling you, you need to leave because it’s under private ownership. Y’all just can’t be out here. KOA won’t let you.”
According to the media outlet, the couple spoke to another employee, who identified himself as the woman’s husband. “I get out and start talking to him. The first thing he says is, ‘Oh, you don’t need a reservation for the lake,'” Franklin said. “Then she pulls up flying, hops out the car, then proceeded to yell at my wife, ‘Get in the car, you need to get back in the car,’ just cussing her out and she’s not even saying anything.”
Devastated by the encounter, Jessica said, “Time stopped. Everything stopped. I was confused as to what was going on. It’s not like we posed a threat to anybody out there walking our dog. There’s nothing harmful about that.”
Franklin, who recently returned from a nine-month deployment in the Middle East, was stunned by the incident. “It’s kind of crazy. You go over there and don’t have a gun pointed at you, and you come back home and the first thing that happens is you have a gun pointed at you. It’s kind of crazy to think about.”
Kampgrounds of America released a statement to the local television network announcing the termination of their employee.
“Kampgrounds of America does not condone the use of a firearm in any manner on our properties or those owned and operated by our franchisees. The employee involved in the incident has been relieved of her duties at the Starkville KOA.”
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Jasmine Washington is a beauty-obsessed journalist by day and a trap music connoisseur by night. A lifelong New Yorker, she got her start as an intern at the now-defunct Juicy Magazine. Jasmine joined the EBONY.com team as a writer, penning daily stories on all things Black culture and entertainment.