Forest Whitaker’s trip to the deli turned into a unfortunate ordeal of stop and frisk when he was falsely accused of shoplifting from the Milano Market on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
According to his publicist Jennifer Plante, the Oscar winner was approached by an employee who accused him of theft as he was walking out of the store. The employee then prevented him from leaving and proceeded to frisk him down in front of other customers.
“This was an upsetting incident given the fact that Forest did nothing more than walk into a deli,” Plante said in a statement to The New York Daily News. “What is most unfortunate about this situation is the inappropriate way store employees are treating patrons of their establishment. Frisking individuals without proof/evidence is a violation of rights.”
The employee later apologized and Whitaker did not file a complaint because the worker feared losing his job. “Forest asked that, in the future, the store change their behavior and treat the public in a fair and just manner,” added his publicist.
Whitaker, who lives in California, is currently in New York City filming the movie Black Nativity, with Angela Basset. He won an Oscar for his performance as Idi Amin in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland.