Publix employee: Customer refused to let Black worker bag her groceries, tried to drive over him [ www.nbc12.com]
By Brent Solomon | July 24, 2020 at 11:38 PM EDT – Updated July 25 at 9:26 PM
HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) – Henrico police were called to a grocery store after a customer allegedly told employees she refused to let a Black person bag her groceries. It led to a scene at the Publix Supermarket at White Oak Village Friday morning. On top of that, employees say the customer then tried to run over an employee with her car. Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor says she is “aware of this incident,” and is working with Varina District Supervisor Tyrone Nelson, as well as the Henrico NAACP. The NAACP in Henrico is requesting to speak with police about what they’re doing to find the customer.
“I almost cried. I’m fighting back tears now,” an employee told NBC12, asking not to be identified. Employees say a customer notified staff she didn’t want the teenager who was about to bag her groceries to do it because he’s Black. “He proceeded to tell the manager. She said just to walk away and she bagged her own groceries,” the employee said. The teen then went outside to collect shopping carts. That’s when an employee says the woman tried to run the teen over with her car. Police sources say they’re not sure whether the woman was a bad driver or if she did it on purpose. Employees believe it was intentional.
“She rolled her window down as she pulled off and said ‘you’re going to remember this,” the employee says she was told. “He granted your wish. You did not want him to bag for you. That should have been the end of it but instead, you escalated the situation out of hate.” The worker says managers called police, one even shedding a tear because of the entire ordeal.
“This is a 15-year-old boy and you tried to end his life. You tried to run him over with your car when he did nothing to you, and I just don’t see how people can be so hateful to someone that they don’t know,” the employee said. Police sources say the customer was driving a silver or gold Ford Taurus. Because she paid with cash, they don’t know her identity. “I hope and pray that Henrico’s finest finds her…It’s outrageous that we have to live in this world and tolerate this…He’s just trying to do his job,” the employee added. In a statement to NBC12 Publix wrote:
“The safety and well being of our associates is our priority. We do not condone
racism of any form in our stores. We are cooperating with local law enforcement in
their investigation and have provided them with surveillance video.”
[Statement from Publix]
A Publix spokesperson says they will be providing counseling to those who were impacted by the incident.
Yulee family staying positive after receiving racist letter aimed at twin daughters
[ www.news4jax.com ] July 24, 2020
YULEE, Fla. – The Sproul family put up posters of twins Xanah and Xarah in front of their Timber Creek Plantation home like any other proud family celebrating their own 2020 graduates.
But Thursday, they received an anonymous letter in the mail. It reads: “Resident: Don’t you think enough is enough? It’s time to take those hideous posters of that ugly fat black girl down off your house. What a disgrace to the neighborhood. In fact, your entire brood is a disgrace to the neighborhood. Consider moving to a “hood” of your kind. Your neighbors are watching you!”
Xanah and Xarah Sproul are straight-A students who graduated from Yulee High School with a variety of accomplishments: members of the National Honor Society, Beta Club and VyStar program. The twins were also section leaders in the marching band. They are set to attend Saint Leo University on scholarship in the fall, both on Friday receiving four-year “Tipping the Scale” scholarships from the Boys and Girls Club. Given the joyous and celebratory nature of the graduation posters, parents David and Toya Sproul were shocked to receive the letter in the mail. “I thought he was kidding because he’s a comedian,” Toya Sproul said. “He was like, ‘I wouldn’t joke and say that about them,’ and I snatched the letter, and I’m like, ‘Oh,’ and I called the police right away.”
In-tune with the current racial tension in the nation, the Sprouls still never thought they would see a product of that divisiveness in their own front yard. “You see all the things happening all across the country,” David Sproul said. “It’s one thing when it’s across the country, but it’s absolutely different when it’s literally in your own yard, literally in your own house.” The letter is unsigned and typed, and while the author says they live in the Timber Creek neighborhood, the letter was mailed from Jacksonville.
While the Sprouls are still reeling from what they call cowardly anonymity, they said the love from the community has far outweighed the negative message. Over the past day, people have been stopping by, waving and honking and some have dropped off cards. “I stopped by just to show our support as a neighborhood,” neighbor Rowdy Griffin said. “You know, the actual thing going on it is complete garbage. The letter that they received does not speak for this neighborhood at all, you know we’re a pretty positive neighborhood. We all come together for each other, and I just want to show my support for them.”
Griffin said he and his wife are in the process of making signs for the neighborhood for everyone to put in their yards that say the neighborhood stands with the Sprouls and is “Timber Creek Strong.” “We know we have a great support system and everyone is on our side so we will get over it and get justice,” Xanah said. The Sprouls said the phone calls and well wishes have been endless, and they are thankful for the support, but they still hope the police can find out whoever sent the letter. David and Toya reported it and the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office said it is looking into it. The final line of the letter, “Your neighbors are watching you,” worries the Sprouls for their safety. They want police to investigate it as a hate crime. As of now, the report News4Jax received from the Sheriff’s Office said police have filed it as a threats and harassment incident. “We love everybody,” Toya said. “We’ve raised our kids that way, which is why they’re really not that bothered by it. Because we’re not gonna return hate, we’re not gonna retaliate in that way.”
Aurora police apologize after Black children were detained, handcuffed in stolen car mixup
Video shows a 17-year-old and 12-year-old lying on their stomachs with their hands cuffed behind their backs.
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS |
PUBLISHED: August 3, 2020 [ TheDenverPost.com ]
AURORA — Aurora police apologized after a group of Black girls were detained and at least two handcuffed during a weekend investigation of a stolen car. Officers later determined that the vehicle they were seeking had the same license plate number but was from out of state. A video taken Sunday by a bystander shows the children, ranging in age from 6 to 17 years old, in a parking lot in Aurora, where there have recently been protests over the death of a 23-year-old Black man, Elijah McClain, who was stopped by police last year, KUSA-TV reported. The video shows the 17-year-old and 12-year-old lying on their stomachs with their hands cuffed behind their backs and a 14-year-old girl lying next to the 6-year-old, also on their stomachs, in a parking lot next to the car. They can be heard crying and screaming as officers stand with their back to the camera. A woman on the other side of the car is shown being led away in handcuffs. An officer eventually helps the handcuffed 17-year-old and 12-year-old sit up but leaves them sitting with their hands behind their backs.
Police then determined they had stopped the wrong car. It had Colorado license plates but a motorcycle with the same license plate number from Montana was the vehicle that had been reported as stolen on Sunday. Driver Brittney Gilliam, who had taken her nieces, sister and daughter out for a girls’ day at the nail salon, called the officers’ actions a case of police brutality. “There’s no excuse why you didn’t handle it a different type of way,” Gilliam said. “You could have even told them ‘step off to the side let me ask your mom or your auntie a few questions so we can get this cleared up.’ There was different ways to handle it.”
Jennifer Wurtz, who shot the video, said on camera that the police drew guns as they initially approached the car. After she told the officers that the children were scared and asked to be able to speak to them, she was told to back up 25 feet because she was interfering in their investigation.
In a statement Monday, police said officers are trained to do a “high-risk stop” when stopping a stolen car, which involves drawing weapons, telling occupants to exit the car and lie prone on the ground.
However, interim police Chief Vanessa Wilson said officers must be allowed to have discretion to deviate from that procedure based on different scenarios they encounter. She said she had directed her team to look into new practices and training as a result of what happened. “I have called the family to apologize and to offer any help we can provide, especially for the children who may have been traumatized by yesterday’s events. I have reached out to our victim advocates so we can offer age-appropriate therapy that the city will cover,” she said. Part of the reason for the mixup may have been that the car was reported as stolen earlier in the year, police said.
The department is under scrutiny for the death of McClain, a Black man stopped by officers as he walked home from the store last August after someone reported he was suspicious. Police put him in a carotid hold that cuts off blood to the brain and paramedics injected him with ketamine, a sedative. He had a heart attack and was later declared brain dead and taken off life support at a hospital.