On September 7, Toni Christina Jenkins was working her shift at a Franklin, Tennessee Red Lobster restaurant and got quite a shock when her customer, 20-year-old Devin Barnes, left her a scrawled note on his receipt: under “Tip”, he wrote “none”. And under “Total”? “Nigger.” Jenkins snapped a photo and posted it to Ye Olde Book of Face…
There’s just one problem…well, actually, no, there are SEVERAL problems. First, Barnes claims he did nothing of the sort and went so far as to have his lawyer hire handwriting experts to analyze the note.
Barnes’ attorney and pastor, Richard Dugger, hired Thomas Vastrick, an independent handwriting expert who has worked as a specialist for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, to compare the receipt to writing samples provided by Barnes and his wife.
Vastrick determined that it was “more likely than not” that whoever wrote “none” was not the same person who wrote the racist word.
“There is evidence to indicate that Devin Barnes (K-1) did not write the Total entry on Exhibit Q-1,” he concluded.
A second handwriting analysis was performed, independent of Dugger and Barnes.
“I believe within a reasonable degree of certainty that the waitress actually wrote the word,” said forensic handwriting expert Bob Baier, who examined a sample of writing taken from the waitress’ Facebook account for TheDCNF.
“If you look at the g’s, the e’s, the r’s, they match up,” said Baier. “Those are the most unique writing habits she had.”
Baier did caution that a stronger analysis could be undertaken with a larger sample of Jenkins’ handwriting, as well as original copies.
Secondly, when she posted it, Barnes’ name was unredacted and he’s received death threats.
Barnes’ name was on the guest check. He told News 2 his life has been turned upside since the picture was posted and he has received death threats from all over the world.
He says he was wrongly labeled a racist by people who don’t know him and who don’t have any proof.
Barnes said, “A lot of people on the Internet who I don’t know are calling me a racist and I’m thinking people have their own opinion but I know I am not a racist. I don’t see color. I have many mixed color friends.”
Barnes says he’s also had to change his bank information and obtain new credit cards.
Barnes told News 2 he’s confused and upset but taking it “day by day.” “No one should go through this at all,” he added.