A Danvers, Massachusetts-based farm has apologized to a Black couple after staffers called the police on them for allegedly stealing six apples.
According to the Associated Press, Manikka Bowman and Jeff Myers detailed their experience at Connors Farm in a public blog post. The couple wrote that they visited the farm on Labor Day and spent $100 on food and apple picking for the day. At one point, they noticed their children picked a few extra apples that didn’t fit in the designated bag they purchased.
Per the AP, Bowman and Myers put the additional apples in their child’s stroller and intended to pay for them at the farm store before leaving.
More from the AP:
Bowman, who is a vice chair of the city’s school committee, said that a security guard instead searched her purse, and that the manager called police when the couple demanded the farm owner’s contact information.
The responding officer, the couple added, accused them of “playing the race card.”
“By jumping straight to an assumption of theft, Connors Farm created a scene, harassing us and causing our 7-year-old to burst into tears, anguish that lasted well into the evening,” the couple wrote.
Bowman and Myers’ blog post also mentioned that after they returned home, they realized that the farm’s staff didn’t refill their apple bag all the way.
From the blog:
As a result, Connors Farm overcharged us for extra fruit. What would those six extra apples have cost? A total of about $4.00. We are left wondering, was it ever about the apples?
The Boston Globe reports that Robert Connors, the farm’s fifth-generation operator, told the newspaper that he reached out to the couple to apologize for what happened and that he’s investigating the incident–adding that staff members will undergo diversity, equity and inclusion training.
The Globe reports:
”I don’t know the particulars of the case, and we’re giving the party the benefit of the doubt here,” he said. “I regret the incident. And we’re still investigating it. We do not tolerate racism...We’re about family fun and treating everybody equal...I am not prejudiced...We don’t want to ruin our name over an incident.”