After facing backlash in regards to racial profiling at its Mesquite, Texas location, supermarket chain Kroger has issued an official apology and says they will accelerate much-needed sensitivity training after an incident involving 16-year-old Zavarion Swain and his family members.
In the initial incident, the Swains were in Kroger and minding their business while Black when a Kroger employee decided to be extremely bored, messy, and most importantly, racist and accuse them of stealing after stalking them around the store. And of course, when authorities arrived at the scene, they found no evidence of theft and even confirmed that the family had receipts for their purchases. But as with most things that come with existing while Black, the Swains were slapped with trespassing warnings anyway, meaning if that they return to the same Kroger within a year (one doubts that they would return after this incident), they may be subject to arrests.
Ukiah Swain confronted the manager at the climax of the ordeal, and the manager was equally racist, claiming and laughing that the Swains “looked like they could be shoplifters”. Kroger has since contacted Ukiah to apologize personally, stated that the associates in question have been removed from the store pending a thorough investigation, and released a statement to show their commitment to being a part of the solution:
“We recognize these steps alone won’t change the broader systemic and cultural biases that plague our society, but we believe that together they demonstrate the seriousness with which we take these issues and our desire to be a part of the solution”.