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Mississippi campground manager loses job after pulling gun on black Army sergeant and wife having a picnic
Image source: Facebook video screenshot

Mississippi campground manager loses job after pulling gun on black Army sergeant and wife having a picnic

He'd only just returned home from an overseas deployment

A Mississippi campground manager is out of a job after reportedly pulling a gun on a black couple who were simply trying to have a picnic.

During the incident, the manager reportedly told the couple that they did not have a reservation, and the couple immediately left.

A spokesperson for Kampgrounds of America, which is the chain that that has oversight over the campground, told WCBI-TV that the woman has been fired.

What are the details?

Jessica and Franklin Richardson were planning on enjoying a picnic at Oktibbeha County Lake near Starkville, Mississippi, when a white female campground manager pulled up to the site and demanded they leave the premises.

The manager also reportedly pointed a gun at the couple while insisting they go.

According to Jessica, the female campground manager insisted that the couple was not permitted to be there because they didn't have reservations.

Franklin, an Army National Guard sergeant, complied with the unnamed woman's wishes and left the campground with his wife. On their way out, the couple and reportedly visited the main office and discussed the matter with a man, who the couple reported was the woman's husband. The man purportedly told the couple that reservations weren't needed for the lake.

Jessica shared a video of the incident on Facebook, and captioned it:


Today was a beautiful day so my husband (who's a vet), our 2 year old dog, and myself, decided to Google a lake to visit and have a picnic. We found a lake located in starkville, ms and decided to visit. Not five mins later a truck pulls up and a white lady screams at us, she then jumps out of her truck with a Gun. And proceeded to point it at the 3 of us, simply because we didnt make reservations. After leaving my husband stopped by the office and talked with her husband (they're the property managers). The husband tells my husband that reservations aren't needed for the lake. This happened In Starkville, Ms

At the time of this writing, her Facebook video has been viewed more than 500,000 times.

In the video, Jessica can be heard saying, "This lady just literally pulled a gun because we're out here and didn't have reservations for a lake we didn't even know we needed reservations for."

The female campground manager can be seen approaching the couple and their dog, with a gun in hand, who appears to tell them that they should have checked in with the office.

"We didn't know," Jessica can be heard saying to the woman. "All you had to do was tell us. ... The only thing you had to do was tell us to leave, and we would have left. You did not have to pull a gun."

The couple can be seen walking away from the woman as she puts her gun in her pocket.

What did the couple say?

The couple spoke with WCBI for an interview about the incident.

Jessica told WCBI that the woman approached them initially with the weapon while saying, "Get, get — you don't belong here."

"The fact that she used 'get, get' like we were a dog," Jessica said. "You say get, get to a stray dog that's on your porch. That 'get, get' got to me more than 'you don't belong here.'"

Franklin, who had just returned from a nine-month overseas deployment, expressed his sadness over the incident.

"It's kind of crazy," he said. "You go over there and don't have a gun pointed at you, and you come back home and the first thing that happens is you have a gun pointed at you."

Jessica said that the woman's intentions — which she believed to be racist — were clear.

"You can feel the intent behind [the incident]," she insisted. "I felt it. I felt the heat from it. I felt it in her eyes. I knew exactly what it was."

What else?

A spokesperson for Kampgrounds of America told WCBI:

Kampgrounds of America does not condone the use of a firearm in any manner on our properties or those owned and operated by our franchisees. The employee involved in the incident has been relieved of her duties at the Starkville KOA.

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