Employees at a Safeway store in Mountain View, California, reportedly called the police on an African-American woman who was donating food to homeless people; the Safeway workers believed she was shoplifting.
Erika Martin told KPIX how she was trying to help a homeless man.
That day I decided to give him dog food for his dog. The police just blocks me in. I’m like, “what’s going on?”
Then she [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.”
Martin said Safeway workers thought she was conspiring with an African-American man, and that a group of kids were also shoplifting and bringing stolen goods to her car.
In reality, Martin never stepped foot inside the Safeway store. Martin said she never got out of her car.
The police said the Safeway workers got it wrong.
Martin said the damage she was already done:
Racism still exists. I blame the Safeway employees and for them to do something like that to me is just hurtful and shameful. I am not going back to that Safeway ever.
The Safeway store manager apologized and told Martin that corporate would call her, but never did.
A Safeway spokesperson said the workers called police because a man who’d stolen before had returned, but they’re investigating why Erika was reported to the police.
Get the latest breaking news video clips before everyone else with our newsletter! We do not share or sell your email address with anyone.