'Chipotle Karen' Points Gun at Black Mom & Daughter During Angry Parking Lot Dispute

Woman draws firearm at Chipotle
@makaysmith10/Twitter

A Michigan family says they were shocked and terrified after a white woman pulled a gun on them in a Chipotle parking lot Wednesday evening. According to the Detroit News, the tense altercation went down just moments after a mother and daughter exchanged words with the woman on their way into the take-out restaurant in Orion Township, and it was partially caught on video. Now, the footage is going viral, and although many are calling it yet another example of white privilege at its finest, others argue that it may not tell the full story.

  • Fifteen-year-old Makayla Green, who is Black, said the incident happened around 8 p.m. while she was trying to get dinner with her mother.

    "Before I could walk into Chipotle, this woman was coming out, and I had moved out the way so she can walk out," Green told the Detroit News. "She bumped me, and I said, 'Excuse you.' And then she started cussing me out and saying things like I was invading her personal space."

    The sudden exchange was uncomfortable and tense -- but apparently, it was also far from over.

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  • Her mother, Takelia Hill, was just a few paces behind her daughter when the argument broke out.

    Her daughter quickly called her over, later claiming that she was scared. When the mother approached, she couldn't believe what she was witnessing.

    "I walked up on the woman yelling at my daughter," Hill recalled. "She couldn't see me because her back was to me, but she was in my daughter's face."

  • The argument later continued into the parking lot, where Green started filming it on her phone.

    A portion of the footage she captured was later shared on Twitter by Green's aunt and begins shortly after the woman has already pulled out a handgun.

    "She got the gun on me!" Green exclaimed, as the woman aimed her pistol directly at her.

    "Get away," the woman said to the mother and daughter before telling a man emerging from the driver's seat of her car to call the police.

  • According to Hill, she was walking back through the parking lot when the white woman's minivan began backing out of a spot.

    Fearing that it was about to hit her, she banged on the back of the window to stop it. That's apparently when the white male driving hit the brakes and the white woman hopped out of the passenger side with her handgun drawn.

    "Back the [expletive] up!" the woman was seen yelling several times in the video while getting close to Hill and her daughter before backing up herself. After more than a minute of holding them at gunpoint, the woman hopped back in her minivan and took off.

  • By then, however, Hill and her daughter had managed to write down the license plate number and quickly called police.

    According to an update on the aunt's Twitter thread, the unnamed woman and male driver were arrested but ultimately released.

    "They were let go! The police just took the guns away!!!" she tweeted late Wednesday night. "Ridiculous!!!! They said they couldn't arrest her because my niece's mother hit their car (with her hand) to stop them from hitting my niece!!! Justice needs to be served! This is white privilege."

  • Many people were horrified by the encounter once the video was shared on social media.

    "Please say they arrested her," tweeted one person.

    "That is disgusting," added another. "Watched this from Ireland and I feel for you and everyone on the BLM movement."

    Others branded the white couple "domestic terrorists" and accused the woman of being yet another "Karen."

    "Karens are out of control!" one person declared.

  • The footage certainly comes at a time when racially charged disputes between Black Americans and white women seem alarmingly frequent.

    In May, the name Amy Cooper became infamous after the New York City woman called the police on a Black man in Central Park who had asked her to remove her unleashed dog from a popular bird-watching spot. For many, the incident highlighted the undercurrent of racism and everyday micro-aggressions faced by Black Americans -- not just because Cooper called police but because when she did so, she wrongly accused the man of "attacking" her.

    Earlier this week, an incident in New Jersey also went viral after a white woman confronted her Black neighbors over whether they had a permit for their patio. Part of the argument was caught on camera and eventually involved several other neighbors. Once again, the white woman -- later identified as Linda Korn -- called police, and according to witnesses, she falsely accused a Black man of pushing her.

  • The Chipotle clip has also caused some debate, after a longer cut of the altercation was later uploaded to YouTube.

    The video, which runs about two minutes longer, shows the moments before the white woman drew her gun and is standing in front of both Hill and Green outside the restaurant.

    "This woman wants to violate a 15-year-old!" Green shouted before her mother insisted that if the woman "did something wrong, she needs to apologize."

    "This ignorant woman bumped into a 15-year-old, and you're on camera, you're feeling threatened," Green continued.

    "You're blocking me from getting to my car," the woman responded. 

    "No we weren't. No we weren't," Green told her.

  • As Hill and Green back away, the white male drives the woman's van into a nearby parking spot.

    In the video, he's seen walking around the vehicle to open the door for the woman, who is presumably his wife. As she gets in, Green can be heard calling her "ignorant" as the woman says something about calling the police.

    "Do it! Do it, dumb a-- [expletive]," Hill shouted back as the car door slammed. 

    Hill then turned to the man and said, "You say something and I'm gonna beat your white [expletive] too."

    Moments later, he asked them, "Who the [expletive] do you think you guys are?"

    "Who do you and your wife think you are!" Green shouted back.

    "She did nothing to you," he said, and as he walked back to the vehicle, Green called the woman racist.

  • The exchange takes an even more bizarre turn after the white woman rolls down her window and begins to deny that racism even exists.

    "You cannot just walk around calling white people racist," she said. "This is not that type of world. White people aren't racist. No one's racist."

    As she talked, Green's voice began to raise, and she repeatedly asked her why she didn't simply apologize.

    "I care about you, and I'm sorry if you've had an incident that's made someone make you feel like that," the woman continued, before once again repeating, "No one is racist. I'm sorry that you've had something like that happen to you."

  • At that point, the woman rolled up her window and the van began to pull away, just as Green and her mother walked away themselves.

    Seconds later, Green yelled, "Ma, watch!" as Hill found herself in the direct path of the minivan as it backed up and slammed her hand on the vehicle to stop it.

    It's then that the white woman hopped out of the car with her gun drawn and began shouting at them to "get the [expletive] back."

  • On social media, people seem to be at odds about who exactly was the most in the wrong.

    "She should at least be charged with menacing," one person said of the white woman. "She almost backed over a kid and when the parent reach out and slapped the car instinctively, this Karen pulled a gun on her??? That is scary Karen [expletive] right there."

    "She shouldn't have drawn the gun, that was a bit excessive but after watching the whole video, it didn't have to escalate to that point," another person tweeted. "The woman tried to prevent them from leaving for nothing."

    "So we're going to ignore how the mother blocked her path, made several threats, and constantly escalated the situation?" one man asked. "I'm not saying the white woman was right, but I understand."

    "Facts matter," added someone else. "I do not like that a gun was pulled on someone. However, Karen was leaving peacefully. She couldn't leave, because Momma Bear went after her. Put an animal in a corner, it'll attack."

  • Many others argued, however, that "Chipotle Karen" could have left peacefully if she'd wanted to.

    And, ultimately, drawing a gun was probably the worst way to end this.

    "Rule #1 of gun ownership: Never pull it unless you're ready to fire," one person tweeted. "Rule #2: Never pull it because you're having an argument. That's dangerously irresponsible, especially pointing it. Absent imminent harm, what she did was a felony and a disservice to responsible gun owners."

    "By the time the van woman 'apologized' she'd already escalated the situation by her own behavior and she only became contrite (minimally) because of the camera," added another person. "She got back in her car, then got out AGAIN with the gun. That was intentionally aggressive behavior by the van woman."

  • For now, the Oakland County sheriff's office is looking into the matter, and a press conference was expected to be held Thursday afternoon.

    Several local officials have spoken out since the video first surfaced.

    "I am deeply disturbed by an incident last night where a woman pointed a cocked gun at another woman during an argument," Oakland County Executive David Coulter said in a statement, according to the Detroit News. "This behavior is unacceptable. I wholly expect the prosecutor to bring charges that reflect the severity of the incident."

    Sen. Rosemary Bayer also admonished the woman's behavior.

    "There is nothing acceptable about what happened in Orion Township last night at the Chipotle. It is abhorrent to think that some in this country have such a sense of self-righteousness and entitlement that the idea of pulling a gun out on an unarmed child and her mother is OK," Bayer said in a separate statement.

    As for Hill and her daughter, she said the entire incident has left them both "traumatized," along with her other children who witnessed the altercation from their car.