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Kroger manager called cops on Black boys buying snacks after accusing them of shoplifting

Claudine Varela
Jan 11, 2019
02:59 A.M.
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A store manager has been relieved of his duties after he called the police on four black teenagers who were merely buying snacks in the store.

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Ukiah Swain is upset over the unfair treatment of a store manager towards her son and nephews who were wrongly accused of stealing and reported to the police.

“They looked like they could be shoplifters.”

Swain is the mother of one of four kids who were racially profiled by an unnamed manager of a Kroger grocery store in Mesquite, Dallas. She received a call from her 16-year-old son who told her that he and his cousins were given a trespass warning by police.

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LEARNING THE HURTFUL TRUTH

Wanting to get to the bottom of the situation, Swain went to the store to confront the manager who called the police and accused the kids of stealing after they paid for the snacks they purchased. The cops issued a warning to the kids despite them showing their receipts.

Holding her camera and capturing their encounter on Facebook Live, Swain asked the manager why he called the police on the kids and he replied,

“They looked like they could be shoplifters.”

Adding insult to injury, the man laughed after he said this earning the ire of Swain who shared her story to NBC Dallas-Fortworth.

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The manager clearly pre-judged the teens racially because he also told Swain’s son earlier that the reason he called the cops on them was a previous encounter with black kids.

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"We’ve had problems with people like you before,” he said.

Hurt and confused, Swain’s son asked her how he could prevent this from happening again.

‘Ma, how do I not look like a criminal so this doesn’t happen again?'”

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KROGER'S REACTION

Upon learning of the incident, Kroger’s confirmed in a statement that it relieved the manager and other employees involved from their duties pending an investigation. The company also said that they have reached out to Swain to apologize. Likewise, it took credit for their manager’s wrongdoing saying “we did not live up to our values in this situation.” The company likewise assured the public that a sensitivity training will be their top priority for all their employees.

WAITING FOR AN APOLOGY

Meanwhile, Swain is still waiting for the company to apologize to the teens and not just her. She stresses that the kids are upset and continue to be hurting. All she wants is for the store to apologize to the children in person - “the same way that they humiliated them”, she says.

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STORE MANAGER THROWS CHAIR AT BLACK MAN OUT OF PREJUDICE

It was just a few days ago when a similar incident occurred in a Poke Poke restaurant in Chicago. Store manager Matthew Feezy threw a chair at Kyle, a black customer thinking he would cause trouble at the restaurant like two previous black guys who robbed his customers.

Feezy later apologized after Kyle accused him of racially profiling him. The manager explained that he’s had a couple of earlier encounters with two black guys who caused problems for his customers and even threatened one of his employees. He freaked out when he saw Kyle and became defensive. He insists he wasn’t racist but the harm had been done. Feezy was immediately removed from his job when the story came out.

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