Video Showing Racist Tirade Means Trouble For Ottawa Co. Farm
A viral video of a racist tirade results in an arrest and other problems for a West Michigan farm.
The video that recently went public of Travis Schoenborn of EDS Schoenboern Orchards was recorded in late July. Travis is the son of the farm's owners. He is caught on tape calling a migrant worker racist slurs and even spitting on him.
It's rare for migrant workers to come report crimes against them. However, the victim of this attack reached out to Migrant Legal Aid about the incident. The lead attorney and executive director of Migrant Legal Aid, Teresa Hendricks-Pitsch told Wood TV 8, “This was some of the worst verbal abuse that we’ve actually captured on tape.” You see the video with the curse words beeped out from Wood TV 8's youtube page below.
The parents of the suspect and owners of the farm defended their son by first denying the man in the video was Travis and asked if the Wood TV 8 reporter can prove that it's him in the video. Then Travis' mother claimed that the alleged victim in this case was obscene to her and threatened her.
In the meantime, an investigation is underway and Travis Schoenborn has been charged with assault.
After the story ran on channel 8 an apple distributor called Riveridge Produce Marketing cut ties with the West Michigan orchard and released this statement,
(We) are outraged by the abusive words and racist attitudes displayed in the video. This is not who we are as a company, and is in no way representative of the larger community of growers in West Michigan. The following morning (after the story aired), we severed our relationship with EDS effective immediately. We value inclusion for all and will continue working toward creating additional two-way communication with all of our employees, packers and growers and our migrant staff who deserve the same respect and dignity and play a vital role in our community.
Another company severed ties with E.D.S. Orchards. According to Wood TV 8 Aseltine cider Company of Comstock Park is no longer doing business with the Ottawa County farm.