A white, male J.C. Penney employee put a young black girl in a headlock last Thursday after allegedly telling her family they don’t belong there WNDU reports. The incident took place at the University Park Mall in Mishawaka, Indiana.
The incident was caught in a video that went viral on Facebook and shows the employee holding the girl in a headlock, exposing her undergarments as people around her shouted “Let her go!” and “Get off of her!”
After the family was told to leave the store, the girl responded by knocking over a display on her way out, prompting the man to attack her and put her in a headlock.
“She didn’t even do nothing!” people can be heard shouting in the video. “She’ll pay for it! She can pay for it!” her family repeatedly shouted, referring to the display that the girl knocked over. The girl also shouts, “Let go of me!” But the man responds “Back off!” and refuses to let go of her.
According to the report, he told everyone that he would let the girl go if they backed away, but never lets go of her. The video then shows mall security arrive at the scene and put the girl in handcuffs before taking her to another room.
The girl was released from the security room once her father showed up, and the family leaves soon after.
According to the report, the mall, the store, and the man either declined to comment or did not return calls and the family did not feel comfortable going on camera to tell their story.
However, the family is now looking into taking legal action. The girl said that if the man had just let her go, “she would have been willing to stay put and talk.”
See the full video below.