SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) – Nike officials Thursday announced an investigation into allegations by a black family that they were racially profiled and wrongly accused of shoplifting by a white manager at the athletic apparel company’s Santa Monica store.
Joel Stallworth and TaMiya Dickerson say they were accused by a white store manager of walking out of the Nike store at Third Street Promenade on July 5 without paying for a $12 basketball.
A video posted to Dickerson’s Facebook page shows their 19-month-old son Samuel holding the ball in the store. It also shows a copy of the receipt from their purchase of the ball.
The post alleges a store manager followed them out of the store and accused them of stealing the basketball. Despite telling the manager they had purchased the ball, she flagged down Santa Monica police officers for help.
Upon being confronted by police, Stallworth and Dickerson are heard on the video insisting that they purchased the ball and showed a receipt.
At one point, one of them is heard referring to the manager as “stupid” and apparently calling one of the officers “dumbass”.
After reviewing the receipt with the officers, the manager is seen handing the ball to police and walking away. Dickerson then is heard demanding a refund and an apology, saying they were being racially profiled.
“This is what happens to us all the time,” Dickerson is heard telling the officer.
The couple later went back inside the store and returned the ball for a refund.
In a statement, Nike spokesperson KeJuan Wilkins said: “We are taking the recent situation at our Santa Monica store very seriously, and we are currently investigating the facts. We have reached out to the family to express our deepest apologies, and we will continue to work with our teams to deliver on our expectations for consumer experiences.”
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)