In another story of white people erroneously calling the police on black people, a woman who was giving food to a homeless man outside of Safeway was surrounded by police because employees thought she was a shoplifter.
Erika Martin frequently gives supplies to a homeless man who hangs out outside the Safeway in Mountain View, California.
On this occasion, she was giving him dog food for his dog.
Police told her Safeway employees had called 911, and accused Martin of conspiring with a man and a group of kids to shoplift items and bring them to her car. But Erika never went in the Safeway, and her son only went inside to grab some cookie samples.
Erika and her son cooperated with the police, and her sister Faith filmed a video outside the Safeway for Facebook. Police told Erika she fit the description of the person Safeway thought was shoplifting. Presumably that description was just “black woman.”
So, clearly the Safeway employees screwed up, but, the police still questioned a woman wearing a “Y’all Need Jesus” shirt, even though they were told by Safeway that the suspect was wearing something else.
Erika had a mostly pleasant experience with the police, and puts the blame squarely on the Safeway employees. The incident report employees filed with the police allege a well-choreographed heist, with multiple thieves, distractions, and signals.
It’s like Ocean Spray 11. Nope, instead of justice they’re getting a hefty bucket of shame.
Of course, since there’s no single employee on camera calling the police this time, we don’t get a Barbecue Becky or a Permit Patty, but if there is an entire company that embodies the essence of a disgruntled, pearl-clutching white woman, it’s Safeway.
By the way, the initial police call, which singled out a black man in his 30s as a shoplifting suspect, was found by police to have not stolen anything either. A representative of Safeway told the Mountain View Voice that they have apologized and “been in contact with a customer involved in the incident.”
That customer must be the misidentified black man, since Erika says she’s still waiting for that phone call. Safeway hasn’t mentioned the incident on Twitter, but people are certainly tweeting at them, and author Kurt Eichenwald said Erika is only guilty of being Charitable While Black.
How do you guys think Safeway should make it up to Erika Martin? Let us know in the comments, and make sure to follow us on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.