New York City’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” policy has struck again. Oscar winner Forest Whitaker was patted down by a store employee while leaving  a New York City deli, Friday (Feb. 15)

Although it’s usually an officer who frisks someone, apparently civilians have latched on to the practice as well. Whitaker was accused of stealing from the Milano Market in the Morningside Heights area of Manhattan. “It was around lunchtime and the store was packed,” said an employee, who wanted to remain anonymous. “We were like 50 people deep. The person walked in and out really quickly so our person just made a mistake. The employee apologized immediately. It was an honest mistake. I’ve been here 14 years and nothing like this has ever happened.”

The star reportedly called out the worker for accusing him solely based on his skin color. “This was an upsetting incident given the fact that Forest did nothing more than walk into the deli,” his publicist, Jennifer Plante said.

Another witness reported seeing store employees question Black customers on other occasions.

Police in New York City have been granted the right to search those deemed suspicious, in alleged attempts to thwart criminal activity.  Opposers believe that “stop-and-frisk” is a form of racial profiling, since Black and Latino men are most often stopped.

A federal judge in the Bronx banned the act in the area on grounds that it was unconstitutional.


Photo: BET