There’s one less type of normal activity that Black people can do without someone calling the cops on them: trying on clothes in a clothing store.
Anthony O’Neill and his family were kicked out of a Sausalito, California, shop on Sunday while trying on hats and clothes, as shown on a video he recorded of the incident and posted to social media.
O’Neill, his wife, two young daughters and in-laws went into Quest Casuals to look at hats. The store owner became angry after the girls tried on vests that he said touched the ground and asked the family to leave. When O’Neill objected, the owner called the police. O’Neill captured the dispute on a mobile phone video, which received more than 5,200 shares and 211,000 views on Facebook by Thursday.
“I know when it’s a race-based thing, you know and it felt very, very prejudice,” the African-American man, who had recently relocated to the Bay Area from Chicago, told KGO-TV reported. “I felt it in this episode and I’ve felt it at other times since being here and I’ve been here for five months.”
The store owner, Hooshang Seda, denied that race was his motive for throwing the Black family out his store, alleging that the girls tried on expensive adult-sized vests that were dragging on the floor.
“What are you talking about?” a clearly disturbed O’Neill asks in the video. “My kids were trying on clothes and you kicked us out. Just another incident in the Bay.”
Seda was adamant about the family leaving.
“I am not after trouble, sir. I am asking you to leave because I refuse to do business with you,” Seda responded while standing behind the counter making a phone call—apparently to the cops.
See the full video below.