Farm Apologises After It Called Police On Black Family Who They Thought Stole 6 Apples
A tourist farm in Massachusetts is said to have apologised after it accused a Black family of stealing six apples.
Parents Manikka Bowman and Jeff Myers detailed what they described as a ‘profiling incident’ with staff at Connors Farm in Danvers in a blog post shared after they took their two young children to visit earlier this month.
The couple, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, recalled how they ‘instantly loved’ the farm and for the most part had a lovely day walking the grounds and picking apples. The family spent more than $100 on all-day admission, food and drinks as well as the opportunity to pick fruit, but things ‘took a turn for the worse’ as their day drew to a close.
In the post, Bowman and Myers explained that ‘in their apple-picking excitement’, their children had ‘picked up a few more apples than fit into the bag’. Assuming they’d have a chance to pay for the extras at their final check-out, they began to head to the farm shop, only to be stopped by a security guard who confronted them for ‘having too many apples’.
Staff at the farm searched Bowman’s purse for ‘more “concealed” fruit’, with the mother noting that it ‘became apparent’ they were being accused of stealing. When they requested the contact information for the farm’s owner, staff ended up calling the police.
Meyers and Bowman claim the responding officer ‘never took [their] position seriously’, and allegedly even went as far as to accuse them of ‘playing the race card’.
The couple questioned whether the family were ‘presumed guilty’ because they are African American, and noted that by ‘jumping straight to an assumption of theft, Connors Farm created a scene’ and caused their seven-year-old child to ‘burst into tears’.
Concluding their post, the family wrote:
After we got back to our home, we realized that in the trauma of the moment, that the bag that we paid for was not refilled to its full capacity. As a result, Connors Farm overcharged us for extra fruit. What would those six extra apples have cost? A total of about $4.00. We are left wondering, was it ever about the apples?
According to the Associated Press, the farm responded to the accusations with a Facebook post in which it apologised to the family and said it will ensure staffers ‘undergo diversity, equity and inclusion training’.
The apology came after Meyers and Bowman requested a written apology from the farm, that the money they spent be refunded in the form of a donation towards racial equality work, and that staff would undergo diversity, equity, and inclusion training.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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