Woman claims co-worker at Papa John's gave her racist picture

Jacquline Quynh talks to a woman who says she received a picture of someone hanging from her coworker.

METAIRIE -- Activists are speaking out Tuesday after an African-American woman was given a picture at work last month that she says was threatening and racist. 

Papa John's has taken action against the employee but some said that's not enough. 

Work was the last place Bridgette Bassett expected to see a picture she believed was racist.

"I was just shocked, I was surprised, I was not really expecting. I never had that kind of problem with a different race,” said Bassett.

It's a picture of a person hanging with blood dripping. It was drawn by Bassett's former co-worker who happens to be white. She said he gave it to her at this store on West Esplanade in Metairie. 

"I've been having to go to therapy. I can't sleep," she said.

Bassett also found the picture threatening, and she quickly filed a report with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. 

"I think it was because one day he asked me to come over to his house and I told him no, and I think it was retaliation," said Bassett.

After deputies investigated, they found no criminal wrongdoing, explaining it was not given with a direct threat.

Papa John's said has taken action and issued this statement:

"We concluded our internal investigation within a few hours of being notified and took immediate corrective action (the employee involved has been terminated) to enforce our zero tolerance policy for threatening and intimidating behavior."

Bassett feels the issue was swept under the rug, she's been working with the West Jefferson National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter to share her story.

"It's a symbol of a human being hanging from a tree and we all know what that means,” said Gaylor Spiller with the NAACP.

Spiller said the picture highlights racism and serves to threaten individuals.

"We cannot allow our children to be subjected to what our ancestors and grandparents and parents were subjected to,” she said.

Spiller is now calling for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and Papa John’s management to discuss the issue further. She has yet to hear back.

The Sheriff's Office also told us that the employee has reached out to Ms. Bassett to apologize several times.

Papa John's in their statement also said they have apologized to Bassett, but Bassett denies that it ever happened.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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