Court Rules Black Man Enslaved By White Restaurant Manager


A South Carolina court ruling found that a former restaurant manager who forced a Black man with intellectual disabilities into slave labor, working over 100 hours a week without pay, owes his employee $546,000, double the original amount of restitution.


In 2019, Bobby Paul Edwards, 56, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay John Christopher Smith, 43, $273,000 in back pay after pleading guilty to forced labor in 2019.aid Court documents described one particular incident where Edwards placed a tong dipped in hot grease on Smith’s neck because he wasn’t moving fast enough on a buffet order. He was also slapped, punched, and hit with belts during Edwards’ tenure as owner.

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