/  07.15.2021

An investigation is underway after a “Karen” in a California department store falsely accused a Black man of stealing her son’s phone.

Karen — whose real name has not been identified — was standing in the parking lot of the Walmart in Moreno Valley when she allegedly approached Ya’shear Bryant on suspicions that he stole her son’s phone. According to the man, the phone went missing in the store, but a tracking device led her right next to his vehicle in the parking lot. From that moment, the accusations began.

“She runs up to me and says, ‘Excuse me, you have my son’s phone?’ I pull my phone out, and tell her I do not,” Bryant recalled in a Facebook video posted on Monday (July 12).

“The reason I’m not leaving is because I don’t have the phone. That’s why I’m not leaving.”

Per the footage, the woman threatens to call the police, adding she will apologize if she learns Bryant is not the culprit. The man eventually walks away from Walmart Karen, who proceeds to follow him into the store.

“I’m definitely pressing charges,” he says in the video. “This is racial profiling. You guys see it on camera yourself.”

Once he got in the store, Bryant reported the incident to an employee, venting his frustrations about the allegations. “I have a family. I’m a married man,” he said. “I’m dealing with this woman’s irateness because her son can’t be responsible for a phone. That’s not my fault. But being racially profiled? That’s gonna be hers.”

The woman eventually found the missing phone. Per the Black man, “her son found it in the car” and brought it to her. Bryant subsequently asked for her information to press charges. “No. You go fuck yourself,” the woman responded.

Video of the Walmart Karen incident circulated the internet and eventually got the attention of Kaiser Permanente, the health care provider seen on the shirt she was wearing.

“Thank you for sharing this,” Kaiser wrote on Wednesday (July 14). “This video has been brought to our attention, and we are actively investigating it. The conduct in this video does not in any way reflect the views or beliefs of Kaiser Permanente.”

See Kaiser Permanente’s tweet below.


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