A Black man is considering legal action after a manager denied him service at a grocery store and called the police to his home with an order to ban him from the establishment after he questioned the store’s alcohol ID policy on Tuesday.
This incident is the latest example of racism getting attention in the tiny white New England state.
Rory Ferreira, 26, who was with his wife and 19-month-old son, had tried to purchase items at Shaw’s in Saco, a city in York County. While at the cash register, the clerk asked Ferreira and his wife for their IDs before scanning their bottle of Sake, a Japanese Rice wine. When Ferreira simply asked about why his wife also had to show identification and further inquired about the store’s ID policy, a manager, who was only identified by the first name Bethany, came over to the register. The man wanted to make sure that the policy was “real” and that he received the same treatment as everyone else being a Black man, he said. The manager couldn’t handle talking about race and began lashing out at Ferreira, who was holding his son in his arms.
The manager said that “she didn’t have to sell [him] anything” and then told the clerk to cancel the man’s purchase, the Portland Press Herald reported.
Ferreira, like most Black men who are involved in racially charged encounters, stressed the point that he was not resisting and was respectful throughout the exchange. However, further hell broke loose when the man was greeted by police at his home near the store and received a “No-Trespass” order that banned him from the store. The man’s stepfather, Jeffrey Bouley, who stood up for him with the store manager after learning about the incident, was also issued the same order.
The order against Ferreira has since been rescinded by Saco executives who also met with the man and his family Thursday. Ferreira, who is a rapper, still wants an apology from the manager and plans to pursue legal recourse.
The incident came after several other racist incidents in Maine, a state with only 1.6 percent of African Americans, according to U.S. Census data. An IHOP in Auburn had come under heavy criticism for asking Black teens to prepay for their meals in March, and a “pro-white” town manager in Jackman was fired for promoting racial segregation in January.