According to a report at WHEC, a black couple who drove to a park where the man intended to propose were interrupted and harassed three times by security guards who accused them of stealing a T-shirt at a gift shop.
In a Facebook post, Cathy-Marie Hamlet explained that she and her fiancé, Clyde Jackson, were sitting at a table outside the Angry Orchard gift shop when a female security guard approached them and accused Jackson of stealing the shirt and asked to check his pockets.
As Hamlet wrote, “A group of 8 of us went there to enjoy an afternoon with some hard cider. My boyfriend walked me out to an empty table on the lawn, and before we could sit down, a young lady from security approached us and said to him, ‘I’m sorry sir, but I have to check you back pocket. I was told that you stole a T-shirt from from the gift store.’ My boyfriend then emptied all of his pockets, while still trying to keep the ring box hidden from my sight.”
She added, “She then walked away, and my boyfriend and I sat down at the table and he began his proposal speech. MID PROPOSAL, the same young lady from security walks back towards and says to me, ‘I’m sorry, I need to check your bag. I was told that he gave it to you, and you put it in your bag.’ Mind you, my bag isn’t even large enough to fit a T-shirt. I emptied my entire bag in front of her, and since this was the SECOND time she had walked over, I said, “I know you’re just doing your job, but I can’t help but wonder if this is because we’re Black. We’re the only Black people here at your establishment.’”
Hamlet added that the woman denied she was racially profiling, but that confrontation was not the end of it.
“She departs again, and shortly after my boyfriend pops the question! I say yes, of course. People started cheering. And then the other 6 our friends walked over to us to hug and congratulate us,” she wrote. “Then surprise, surprise…the same young lady from security walks over to the group of us and says, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you all were a part of the same party. I have to check all of your purses and pockets.’ So at this point, the rest of security walks over and there’s 6 of them approaching us.”
“Of course my friends told them none of us stole a T-shirt from their establishment, at which point they started getting aggressive and saying that not only them, but also patrons saw my boyfriend steal the shirt and/or transfer it to me to put in my bag!!” she continued. “Another woman in security yelled to one of the male security, ‘Call the police! I saw you steal it.’ I asked them, “Do you have security cameras here?” And they said yes. So I said, ‘Well then you need to go and roll back your tape and see that nobody here stole anything from you guys.'”
She then explained that the white guards took their pictures, started videotaping them and then took a picture of her license plate when she and her group gave up on trying to have their party there.
“We as a group decided to leave rather than be attacked by the multiple security guards of Angry Orchard,” she recalled, adding, ” I have never been so humiliated in my life, myself and some of my friends left Angry Orchard in tears. On what was supposed to be one of the best days of my life, I was chased out of Angry Orchard by security who followed us all the way to the parking lot. I’m sorry, and not to sound pretentious, but as a doctor, I have no reason to steal a $28 T-shirt when I could afford to buy ALL of the T-shirts in their gift shop.”
You can see the Facebook post below: