Black family left ‘humiliated’ after Nike store manager accuses them of stealing $12 basketball which they had already paid for
A black family in California alleged that they were racially profiled and left "humiliated" at a Nike store in Santa Monica on July 5. The family claimed the store's white manager had called police officers after accusing them of stealing a $12 basketball even though they had paid for the item.
The incident took place when Joel Stallworth and Tamiya Dickerson were at the Santa Monica Place shopping mall along with their one-and-a-half-year-old son, Sammy. Dickerson had caught the entire incident on camera and had uploaded it to Facebook. The couple shared that they had initially not planned on buying anything but had changed their mind and decided to buy a Nike Swoosh Mini basketball after their son picked it up and started to carry it around.
Both Stallworth and Dickerson shared that as they were leaving the store, the manager followed them out and accused them of stealing the ball. The manager also demanded that they give the ball back. Stallworth attempted to explain that they had already paid for the ball and continued to walk down the street with his family. The manager did not listen and kept following them before flagging down some police officers.
Video of the incident was shared on Dickerson's Facebook page and shows the desperate parents explaining to at least three Santa Monica police officers that they had bought the basketball and had a receipt for the same. In the video, Dickerson can be heard saying, "This is ridiculous. We purchased this basketball in the store." At one point, Stallworth throws the basketball onto the ground in frustration and the store manager picks it up. However, after showing the receipt to the officers, the parents were handed the basketball back.
After the incident, the couple returned to the store to ask for a refund. Stallworth spoke to KTLA in Los Angeles and said, "She had zero evidence that I stole anything. She couldn't have evidence because I bought it. She discriminated against me. She planted an evil seed in the officer, so as soon as the officer came up to me, he said, 'Sir, give me the stolen ball'."