Black Teens Accused of Shoplifting at Kroger Had Receipts. Police Still Gave Them a Trespass Warning

Illustration for article titled Black Teens Accused of Shoplifting at Kroger Had Receipts. Police Still Gave Them a Trespass Warning
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A Texas Kroger manager is being accused of racially profiling some black teenagers who came into his store to buy snacks. I’m not inclined to disagree.

According to KXAS-TV, two black boys and two young black men—ages 15, 16, 19, and 20—went into a Kroger last week and made their purchases, juice, chips, Oreos, by the looks of this Facebook live video of the aftermath.

Following that, an employee confronted them as they were leaving and accused them of stealing.

You read that right—the boys bought food… and then they were accused of stealing. And then the store manager called the damn police, because white people are pathologically incapable of handling an altercation without calling the cops, apparently.


It gets richer: The boys, probably knowing better than to be black in a store without receipts for exactly this reason, immediately produced their receipts for the police… who then wrote them a trespass warning on behalf of the manager.

Per KSAX: “The trespass warnings given to the boys by Mesquite police means if they come back to that Kroger location within the next year, they could be arrested and charged. Warnings like this are at an officer’s or business’ discretion.”

So they didn’t actually steal anything, but they still aren’t welcome… for some reason. Who could imagine why? (Oreos are expensive these days!)

It. Still. Gets. Better! The manager apparently said “they looked like they could be shoplifters,” according to Ukiah Swain, an older family member. One of the boys said the manager had cited previous problems with “people like you,” which, like—I don’t know, you have to respect the classics. “You people” is a hop and a skip away from “thugs.”


From HuffPost:

After speaking with other members of the community, Swain’s attorney, Daryl Washington, said racial profiling appears to be an issue at that Kroger location.

“It’s just the culture of that store,” he told HuffPost. He agreed that more training of the staff is needed and insisted that those directly involved should be fired.



Kroger, clearly seeing the fucked up context here far more quickly than the manager, has apologized and promised that they would begin a sensitivity training process following the events at the Texas location.


From KXAS:

“We recognize 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,” Kroger said in a statement.


Let these young men buy candy in peace. Damn.

Natalie Degraffinried is a senior editor for Kotaku.

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Yes, the manager fucked up but what about the cop writing the warnings? Seriously? The receipts are likely timestamped and every grocery store I’ve been in over the past twenty some odd years has video surveillance of every register. You can review the tape and watch them buying the goddamned snacks. Where’s the outcry for the dipshit cops not telling the manager to cool his or her jets?