The posts included one from June 1 that mocked Black Lives Matter protesters, as well as older posts in which he used a racial slur and expressed support for George Zimmerman, the Florida man who fatally shot black teenager Trayvon Martin.
Kellie Vaughan, a regular customer from East Baltimore who organized the boycott, said Meyer’s apology is insufficient.
Vaughan used a loudspeaker to call on Meyer to denounce his earlier comments as she stood on the sidewalk adjacent to the crab house located in a Middle River shopping plaza.
Rikki Vaughn, a business owner and former Baltimore mayoral candidate, used the loudspeaker to encourage customers to buy seafood at black-owned crab houses instead. Vince’s serves a 75% black customer base, Meyer said previously, but Vaughn said Meyer has hired very few black people at his businesses.
“We’re not breaking windows or doors," Vaughn said. “We’re breaking bank accounts.”
Vaughan noted that the crab house has started a GoFundMe account to raise $500,000 to make up for business lost during the temporary shutdown. The GoFundMe description, which ends with “#smallbusinessesmattertoo,” said the Meyers’ have required “24/7 security" at their homes and businesses “due to death threats to us” since the protests began.
Vince’s has locations in Middle River, Fallston, Dundalk, North Point and Manchester.
At least three police cars filled the Middle River restaurant’s parking lot Monday, along with private security officers. The officers told protesters they couldn’t demonstrate in the parking lot because it’s private property, but many of them occasionally entered to explain to customers why they’re boycotting Vince’s.
One black customer, who declined to give his name, said he didn’t know about Meyer’s comments, and thanked the protesters for their education and seafood recommendations.
Amy LeBrun of Middle River cheered and waved with a cardboard sign in support for Vince’s as she entered the business. She worked at the restaurant over a year ago, and she said Vince’s is filled with some of the “most loving and caring” people around. She called the protests “crazy and stupid.”
“They got the best seafood around and it’s my business," LeBrun said.
Alexis Epps of Timonium carried a sign that said “#86TheHate," a reference to a new Baltimore group formed to expose discrimination in the dining industry. Epps said she’s “tired of hearing about racism in the industry," and added their fight is against all forms of the “generational curse” of racism.