Store manager under fire for calling cops on a group of black teens buying snacks
Over the last six months or so, Facebook and social media has been overloaded with videos of systemic racial injustice laid bare. In neighbourhoods, grocery stores, restaurants and more, people of colour have been uploading footage of the people who've called the police on them for seemingly no reason.
Just last month, an African American man was ejected from his hotel room for taking a personal call in a lobby, while in 2018, the heinous crimes of selling water without a permit, having a BBQ on public property or walking into your apartment while looking like you "don't belong" have all been valiantly policed.
It's a sorry state of affairs in the United States, and while the current is helping to shed further light on the issue, some people still aren't getting the point, even after case after case involves the offending party getting fired. It's a new year, sure, but this video appears to show that 2018 is still up to its old tricks.
Over in Texas, a black woman by the name of Ukiah Gilliam posted to Facebook to complain about the treatment of her four sons, who went to a Kroeger store to pick up some snacks. Posted earlier this week, she explained how the boys, aged between 15 and 20, were forced to contend with the police.
"You called the police on some little black boys that came to buy snacks. You waited until they bought their snacks," accused Gilliam of the store manager, who called the police on the boys once they'd paid for cookies and potato chips at the store.
While the concerned mom says that the boys were able to produce receipts for the goods they'd bought, they were issued with trespass warnings on request of the manager, who had hidden in the back of the store until the police arrived.
"That was real, real nice of you," said Gilliam of the store manager, who appeared to roll his eyes at the idea of being branded a racist for his role in the incident. "I said, 'Come again?' And he said, 'They looked like they could be shoplifters' and he laughed," she says, after she confronted the manager once the boys had been found innocent.
"You could see the hurt on his face," Gilliam said of her 16-year-old son Zavarion after the incident occurred. "You could see the pain and he asked me, 'Ma, how do I not look like a criminal so this doesn't happen again?'" For their part in the controversy, Kroeger issued a full statement, saying that the employee in question "did not live up to their values in this situation".
"We strive to provide a welcoming environment and to show respect for all customers. We did not live up to our values in this situation. We recognise these steps alone won’t change the broader systemic and cultural biases that plague our society, but we believe that together they demonstrate the seriousness with which we take these issues and our desire to be a part of the solution."
In the meantime, Kroeger says that the employees involved have been removed from the store until an investigation has been completed, and that the entirety of their staff will undergo "sensitivity training" to make sure that a similar incident doesn't happen again.