A Black family says they were racially profiled and accused of stealing from a Nike store in Santa Monica, Calif. despite having proof of purchase. A white store manager flagged down cops to confront Joel Stallworth and TaMiya Dickerson and their 18-month-old son over a $12 basketball.
NBC News reports:
The incident happened on July 5 as Joel Stallworth and TaMiya Dickerson were at the Santa Monica Place shopping mall with their 18-month-old son, Sammy, according to a press release from the family’s lawyer and a video of the incident that Dickerson posted on Facebook.
The couple said they were not planning on buying anything but changed their mind and purchased a Nike Swoosh Mini basketball after their son picked it up and started to carry it around.
Stallworth and Dickerson said that as they were leaving the manager of the store followed them outside, accused them of stealing the basketball and demanded they give it back. Stallworth explained that they bought the ball for their son and continued to walk down the street with his family.
The manager continued to follow them and flagged down Santa Monica police officers for help.
Video of the incident on Dickerson’s Facebook page shows the parents explaining to the manager and at least three Santa Monica police officers that they bought the basketball and have the receipt.
The family took the ball back to get a refund and eventually retained the services of an attorney. Nike has issued an apology to the family and says it will look into the matter.