Updated Wed., Nov. 22, 3:20 p.m. EDT: 7-Eleven issued a statement alleging that the father in the video was previously (not during this incident) caught on tape stealing: “Unfortunately, that video neglects to tell the whole story and appears to be intended to create unrest and misdirect anger. We have video that has been turned over to local law enforcement of the individual who was not served and who was stealing from the store several times, causing disruption in the store and intimidating other customers. Neither race or racism was a factor in what happened in that video. The franchisee for this store, herself, is Black/African-American, and during the incident on tape another African-American customer was served. We explained this to the Caucasian lady who purchased the chips. She was sorry that she was outspoken against the employees and was sympathetic to their predicament,” stated Margaret Chabris, director of corporate communications at 7-Eleven.
A video capturing the apparent mistreatment of customers at an Alexandria, Va., 7-Eleven has gone viral. The video, which was posted to Facebook, shows 7-Eleven employees refusing to take money from a young black kid and his father. The father was holding his son and allowing him to pay, but the employees refused to accept the money—until a white woman stepped in and voiced her frustrations about it.
“You all are acting like crazy people. You are in the customer-service business,” the unnamed white woman said.
She then threatened to report the issue to corporate headquarters. “I am going to report you to the 7-Eleven franchise. All three of you,” she stated.
In the video you can also see other customers venting their frustrations about the incident, even using several expletives.
Jeramey Williams, the owner of the video, posted on Facebook that in his opinion the video shows blatant racism.
“7/11 clerk refuses to sale [sic] bag of chips to African American customer for no reason in Alexandria Va. Little Black Boy wouldnt hav [sic] gotten the chips if the nice white lady didnt put the money in the clerks hand,” Williams wrote.
As upset customers made their way to 7-Eleven’s Facebook page to post their complaints about the video, the company stated that it was “made aware of this video and incident on Monday afternoon. We have launched a full investigation into this matter.”
In an interview with The Root, Williams said that he started recording the video after the cashier refused to sell the man a third bag of chips. Williams stated that the father attempted to buy the first bag of chips and the cashier said that she’s not selling them. So the father went back to get a second bag.
“After he put the second bag on the counter, the cashier threw them on the floor behind the counter,” Williams stated.
Williams said he started recording the video after the father attempted to buy a third bag of chips, because he couldn’t believe what was going on.
“There was a security guard in the store, but he said he was off duty,” Williams, a security guard himself, noted.
Williams doesn’t understand why the woman wouldn’t sell the man the chips, because nothing happened to incite such treatment.