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All discrimination occurring in Colorado — both real and claimed — is not necessarily in urban areas. Case in point: an incident at City Market in Carbondale, Colorado.

A civil rights race discrimination lawsuit was filed on Wednesday by Denver-based law firm Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP on behalf of Michael Francisco in Colorado federal court. The case was nearly two years in coming. It is based on City Market staff and the Carbondale, CO police forcibly removing Mr. Francisco from the Carbondale City Market on December 24, 2020, purportedly because of his race, which violated his civil rights.

Lady Justice.Tingey Injury-Law Firm Photo by Unsplash.

“This is a case with facts that could have come straight out of the Jim Crow era. If Mr. Francisco was white, he would have had a completely ordinary shopping experience at the Carbondale City Market on Christmas Eve 2020. But, because Mr. Francisco is Black, City Market staff and the Carbondale police forcibly ejected him from the store in handcuffs,” said Mr. Francisco’s attorney Michael Fairhurst.

“Mr. Francisco did nothing that could have conceivably justified his removal from City Market on December 24, 2020,” he added. Mr. Francisco’s racially motivated abuse at the defendants’ hands was especially traumatizing for him, a person who had never been convicted of a criminal offense in his life.”

“All I wanted to do was buy juice and soup at City Market,” reads Francisco’s statement. “I had the same right to a peaceful shopping trip as the many white customers in the store who City Market staff and the Carbondale police left alone. I did nothing wrong that night.”

“As a Black man, I know racism is still alive and well in America,” he added. “Yet even I never expected to be forcibly kicked out of a grocery store while I was trying to buy my groceries because of my race. It is heartbreaking.”

It having occurred on Christmas Eve, other facts about the incident are not available, such as — this was during COVID-19 — was he wearing a mask? What time did it occur? Were there any earlier incidents? Was the store in closing mode?  Has City Market ever done any equity training?