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Just when they say Amerikkka is no longer a racist country - News: Black man enslaved by white restaurant owner entitled to $546K, court rules

A Black man with intellectual disabilities should be awarded more than $500,000 after he was enslaved for five years at a South Carolina restaurant, a court ruled.

Bobby Paul Edwards, who is white, pleaded guilty in June 2018 to one count of forced labor for using "violence and other coercive means" to make John Christopher Smith work at his restaurant for more than 100 hours a week without pay.

As part of his guilty plea, Edwards was sentenced to 10 years in prison and was ordered to pay Smith $272,952.96 in restitution. However, a court ruled last month that the amount should be doubled and Smith should receive more than $545,000.

In the April 21 ruling, the Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit stated that the initial amount decided by the court had "erred in refusing to include liquidated damages in its order of restitution."

Citing the Fair Labor Standards Act, the court said that an employer who fails to pay minimum wages and overtime to a worker is "liable for liquidated damages" in an amount equal to that missed compensation.

"When an employer fails to pay those amounts, the employee suffers losses, which includes the loss of the use of that money during the period of delay," the ruling states.

The abuse began in 2009 when Edwards was the manager of J&J Cafeteria in Conway, about 15 miles northwest of Myrtle Beach.

The U.S. Department of Justice said that Edwards subjected Smith to "physical and emotional abuse" whenever Smith did not work fast enough or made a mistake. Authorities said Edwards would punch Smith, beat him with a belt and hit him with pots and pans. On one occasion Edwards dipped metal tongs into hot grease and burned Smith's neck, the Justice Department said.

Edwards also used racial slurs "to belittle and demean him," the agency said.

Smith was removed from the restaurant and put under the care of the state's adult protective services after a concerned resident contacted authorities in 2014.

According to NBC affiliate WMBF in Myrtle Beach, Smith has a condition in which his intellectual ability is significantly below average.

The following year, he sued Edwards, J&J Cafeteria and the restaurant's owner for enslavement, false imprisonment and racial and disability discrimination.

Smith said in the lawsuit that he was forced to work from 6 a.m. until after the restaurant was closed and cleaned. He sometimes would not leave until 1:30 a.m.

There were times Smith was so tired that he "had to be carried home and physically fed drink and food," the lawsuit states. Edwards told Smith that he was putting his compensation into a bank account but it did not exist.

The beatings and physical abuse would take place in a back office or freezer, Smith said in the suit.

He did not report the abuse because he feared for his life. According to the lawsuit, Edwards threatened to stomp on Smith's neck if he went to the police and beat him "until people would not recognize him."

During the years he was enslaved, Smith was forced to live at an apartment that Edwards owned. The suit states that the apartment was overrun with cockroaches and the living conditions were "deplorable and harmful to human health."

The lawsuit remains open.

This story originally appeared on
MisterMxyzptlk Best Comment
He needs more than 10 years.
TheArbitrator · 31-35, M
[@1205658,MisterMxyzptlk] You're the only person who commented on this post who is actually upset about what happened. That says a lot about the other users - who instead of reading the post and showing concern for the victim, felt the desire to defend "all other white people."
[@1183735,TheArbitrator] I think having one atrocity after another is making people lose sight of what’s important.

MrBrownstone · 41-45, M
I guess what one person does reflects on over 300 million.
TheArbitrator · 31-35, M
[@1149,MrBrownstone] I did not say that. I'm not trying to make anyone feel guilty for acts they didn't commit. I'm only saying there is much work to be done, and you can either stand on this side of the fence or that side.
carpediem · 61-69, M
And this is why you are saying the entire country is racist?
TheArbitrator · 31-35, M
[@25801,DeluxedEdition] It's not what I think. There's data to support the premise. The killings of innocent black men such as George Floyd and Eric Gardner. The fact that black men are 3 times as likely to get a conviction in court than a white man. The fact that blacks are more likely to have their car search for drugs even when the evidence show there are more whites who possess drugs than blacks.
DeluxedEdition · 22-25, F
[@1183735,TheArbitrator] black men are a minority in america. if you think cops are going around every single day killing a bunch of black men you are not being reasonable. African americans make up a 13% percentage of americas population. that would be statistically impossible.

it is [b]media propaganda[/b]. everything they are doing is being recorded. with everything that's been going on with police accused of being racist do you really think they're going to be on camera behaving in a way that's illegal or could get them fired?
carpediem · 61-69, M
[@1183735,TheArbitrator] Absolutely disagree. First, you start by misspelling the name of the country in a cheap effort to make it sound somehow communist. That's childish. Are you a child?

Next, the VAST majority of people in the country are NOT racist by any stretch. The racists theory is promoted by fools looking to divide the country rather than find ways to bring us together. How do you think there was a mixed race president elected if the country is so racist?

I think your approach here is disingenuous at best. Fostering division rather than promoting togetherness.
DeluxedEdition · 22-25, F
okay but nobody blamed an entire ethnicity when that man killed that four year old white boy while chanting "black lives matter"🤨 it barely even made the news.... see how that works?
TheArbitrator · 31-35, M
[@25801,DeluxedEdition] There is racism on both sides as well.
DeluxedEdition · 22-25, F
[@1183735,TheArbitrator] yes but how is an entire group held accountable for an action they didnt partake in?
graphite · 56-60, M
Yep, one lone nut means the whole country is racist. Meanwhile, despite supposedly being an unjust racist hellhole, America remains the #1 destination for immigrants worldwide, even people of color. Go figure. These immigrants know the narrative being foisted on us is nonsense.
DeluxedEdition · 22-25, F
[@698333,graphite] [quote] Meanwhile, despite supposedly being an unjust racist hellhole, America remains the #1 destination for immigrants worldwide, even people of color.[/quote]

graphite · 56-60, M
Other than mixy everyone else that commented has blocked me. Which tells me I made the right decision. But yeah I saw this article a day ago. This should be a life in prison sentence.
[@406636,causernamebemyusername] It’s really shocking to see all that and know there’s probably so much more and see him only get 10 years and a fine.
autumn25 · 26-30, F
I remember this incident years ago. It’s shocking that it took the victim this long to get something for all the damages done to him by that monster.
graphite · 56-60, M
Meanwhile: (Do this in an American sports stadium and you will be kicked out in seconds and probably banned for life)

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