Shaw's says it will provide more anti-bias training to its employees after an incident earlier this week at its store in Saco. Our interview with Rory Ferreira at 5:30 #LiveOnCBS13 pic.twitter.com/ngPUidl5W5— Jon Chrisos (@JonWGME) June 22, 2018
Another day, another incident of prejudice against African-Americans in President Donald Trump’s America.
A grocery chain in Maine, Shaw’s, refused service to a young black father, Rory Ferreira, and his family, over claims they refused IDs and were being disruptive.
According to Ferreira, he was grocery shopping with his wife and infant son, when he picked out Sake, a Japanese rice wine and put it into his cart. Upon reaching the payment counter, a clerk asked the young couple for their IDs, citing the store’s alcohol identification policy.
Ferreira, having never been asked for an ID before, enquired further about the policy and was referred to the store’s manager, while his wife went to the car to retrieve their IDs.
“I said that’s OK, I didn’t know about the policy, I want to know it’s real,” Ferreira said. “But I’m a young black man in America. I want to make sure I’m treated the same as everyone else.”
Ferreira’s concern was more than appropriate, keeping in mind the recent spike in discriminatory behavior against the black community.
However, the manager apparently did not like the more-than-reasonable comment.
“She then said, ‘I don’t have to sell you alcohol. I don’t have to sell you anything,’ ” before telling the cashier to cancel his purchase, Ferreira said.
The young father said he saw the manager rip up a paper bag, but since he held his infant son in his arms, he remained calm and left the store without further incident.
But this was not the end of Ferreira’s misery.
When the young black man reached his residence, a police car was already waiting for him. The officer then slapped him with a no-trespass order from the same grocery store.
“It was the scariest thing in the world,” Ferreira said. “I’m a young black dude, I got tattoos, I’m a rapper. I did not know what the cop would do. I was very scared. And again, I still don’t know what I’m banned for.”
The clearly discriminatory incident was shared on Facebook by Ferreira’s stepfather, which prompted representatives from Shaw’s to contact and meet with the Ferreira family. However, the manager involved in the incident was neither part of the meeting nor did she apologize to the family personally.
“I wanted Bethany to apologize to me, my wife and my son,” Ferreira said. “I wanted her to say look, I lost my cool, I’m sorry and you’re welcome back to the Shaw’s.”
Shaw’s representative said they were looking into the matter and released a statement.
“At Shaw’s, we take situations like the one that occurred in our Saco, Maine, store this week seriously and investigate thoroughly when we receive any complaints regarding employee actions or behaviors in our stores that do not support our culture of courtesy, dignity and respect,” the statement said. “Last night, we reached out to the customer to begin a dialogue and today we personally met with him and members of his family to further discuss the situation as we continue to conduct our internal investigation.”
Ferreira, however, is now seeking a lawyer to pursue legal alternative against racial bias.
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