A father says his daughter was racially profiled when she was locked inside a store by a manager and wrongfully accused of shoplifting.
Reubin Houston said a manager at the Coco Beauty Supply in the Chesapeake, Virginia, Parkview Shopping Center locked his daughter and her friends inside the store in early January because they thought the group of girls were responsible for stealing $1,000 worth of merchandise on Dec. 28, 10 On Your Side reports.
According to 10 On Your Side, one of the girls was reportedly identified at a nearby restaurant after surveillance photos were distributed to the other businesses in the shopping center following the late December robbery.
When the group of girls entered the beauty supply store to make a purchase, Houston said the manager locked them inside until Chesapeake Police responded about 10 minutes later, 10 On Your Side reports.
Shortly after, the girls were let go when police realized they were not involved in the Dec. 28 theft, 10 On Your Side reports.
“My daughter and her friends won’t ever forget about that, so I just think that’s wrong,” Houston told 10 On Your Side.
Houston filed a police report claiming racial profiling, 10 On Your Side reports.
He told 10 On Your Side, “I’m personally thinking everybody is going to be a suspect if you have braids and weave and you’re Black. I mean, even the kids are suspects now. I guess mine was.”
The manager from the beauty supply store told 10 On Your Side she locked the girls inside at the instruction of a security guard.
The security guard denied telling the store manager to lock the door, 10 On Your Side reports.
Police said the girls should not have been locked in the store and are consulting with an attorney for the city for instructions on next steps, which may include possible abduction charges, 10 On Your Side reports.
An employee at the Coco Beauty Supply store declined to offer a comment to BET.
The Chesapeake police department referred BET to the public information officer, who said the incident is currently under investigation and no comment could be given at this time.