Khalil Cavil is no longer employed as a waiter by the Saltgrass Steak House in Odessa, Texas, after admitting that he had fabricated a story that he had been subjected to racism. His claims were covered widely after he posted on Facebook a receipt that indicated that no tip had been left for him on a bill for $108. The receipt showed that his name, Khalil, had been circled and the words “we don’t tip terrorist [sic]” scrawled at the top. Cavil (20) posted the image on July 16, to which he added the message that he was “sick to his stomach” and that we wanted "people to understand that this racism and this hatred still exists."

As a result of the fabrication, the restaurant initially banned a customer. However, on Monday Saltgrass Steak House chief operating officer Terry Turney stated that the employee "fabricated the entire story." Turney continued, saying "Racism of any form is intolerable, and we will always act swiftly should it occur in any of our establishments." He said, "Falsely accusing someone of racism is equally disturbing."

Once Facebook users began to express support for Cavil, news media around the world picked up the story, including ABC News and the Washington Post. The BBC looked into the story but did not publish it once the claims could not be verified. While Cavil later deleted the Facebook posts, he also repeated the false claims when contacted by other media outlets. According to the Odessa American newspaper, Cavil has apologized for his fabrication. "I'm sorry," he reportedly said. "I deeply made a huge, big mistake. And I'm in the process of getting the help that I need".

Cavil has apparently deleted his Facebook account. His mother, Jamie Swindle, has not returned calls. According to media reports, Cavil attended Odessa College and plans to attend Dallas Baptist College in the fall.




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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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