What started as a joyous Juneteenth weekend for one couple resulted in massive humiliation and a possible lawsuit for the Ohio residents. According to a Twitter thread containing video of a recent incident, police were dispatched after two Black men were accused of shoplifting at a Toledo Bed, Bath & Beyond location.
“Imagine that. Purchasing your first home. Excited to begin building generational wealth. And then you visit a Bed Bath & Beyond store, and you’re accused of shoplifting because you ‘had too many high ticket items in your cart,’” Lamar Richards tweeted on Monday (June 19). “Attempting to purchase a vacuum resulted in the police being falsely called on two young, Black, gay guys simply shopping. During Juneteenth weekend and Pride Month, no less.”
Richards explained that on Friday (June 16), he and his boyfriend attended a closing sale at Bed, Bath & Beyond because all materials were priced at up to 60 percent off. The new homeowners purchased $600 worth of items before noticing a police officer on their way out. In cellphone footage, the cop admitted to being called for “two Black guys” who an employee thought was stealing “high-ticket items.” According to Richards, the high-priced products were already taken and “held behind the counter while we shopped. So what ‘high-ticket’ items did we have?” Speaking on the aftermath, he added, “[I] have never felt so humiliated in my entire life. I sat in the car for more than an [hour] after this happened, praying, asking God to give me peace and calm my anxiety.”
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump also reposted clips this week. In an article published today (June 21) by Newsweek, the home goods company shared a statement with the outlet: “At Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., we take matters of this nature very seriously and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We are deeply concerned about the reported incident and are actively looking into the matter, as we do with any incidents described that are inconsistent with our policies and procedures.”
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