A California Safeway grocer has apologized after employees called the police on a local Black woman while she and her sisters donated goods to a homeless man.
Erika Martin went to a Mountain View, California Safeway with her sisters Sunday evening to donate a care package to a homeless man who frequents the store’s parking lot.
“That day I decided to give him dog food for his dog,” Martin told KPIX.
As she sat in her car awaiting the return of her sisters, multiple police cars approached her vehicle claiming the store manager thought she was a shoplifter because she made “eye-contact” with a black male suspected of stealing from the supermarket.
“[The officer] was like, ‘Well, we were called here because you fit the description of someone taking items out of Safeway and bringing it back to your car,’” said Martin.
As it turns out, Martin never even entered the store, and had on a different shirt than what was reported to the cops.
“I said, ‘What! Wait, are you kidding me?’ I never even stepped foot inside of Safeway, I was in my car the whole entire time I was there.”
Her sister recorded the incident and posted it on Facebook, writing: “Right here at Safeway in Mountain View someone called the police on Erika. She was in her car the whole time. Crazy. You’ve got four cops here for one black person. Absolutely nuts.”
Check out the report below.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.