A plan for a nice Labor Day outing for a Danvers, Massachusetts, Black family at an apple-picking farm turned into a nightmare of racial profiling.
Connors Farm phoned the Danvers Police Department after accusing the Rev. Manika Bowman, vice-chair of the Cambridge School Committee and Jeff Myers, a commercial real estate director, of stealing six apples. The family shared their Labor Day experience in a blog post.
“Our family did not get the apple cider donuts we’d been looking forward to all day at Connors Farm in Danvers this Labor Day,” the couple wrote. “What we did get at Connors was a traumatic experience of being falsely accused of stealing apples. And to boot, they accused us of stealing while we were on our way to their farm store to buy more stuff, to spend more money at their establishment.”
The couple stated they spent over $100 on their visit. They noticed there were six extra apples that did not fit in their apple-picking bag and their children added the apples without their knowledge. Next, they said the apples were moved from the bag to their children’s stroller. Myers and Bowman had plans to bring the apples to the farm store to pay for the additional purchases.
Things didn’t go as planned. Instead, the farm called the police and the couple said they were approached by security guards. With no luck, security searched their bags for any fruit. According to ABC News, Bowman’s purse was searched. After explaining to the police what happened, the couple said the police accused them of “playing the race card.”
Bowman and Myers have three requests from the farm: a written apology from the owner, the $100-plus they spent at the farm to be donated to charity, and for the farm owners and Danvers Police Department to implement diversity training.
The farm apologized Thursday (September 9), agreeing to participate in diversity training for employees, but did not agree to the charity request.
"We regret the incident that happened this past weekend,” the farm wrote on Facebook. “We have extended our personal apology to the family," the farm wrote in a Facebook post. "We do our best to train our employees to handle all customer issues with courtesy and respect at all times. We are taking further steps to ensure that staff will undergo diversity, equity, and inclusion training. Please know that everybody is welcome on our farm."
(Getty Stock Images)