A group of young black students in Australia claim they were blocked from being in an Apple store because store employees were afraid they ‘might steal something.’
via The Independent:
The teens — Abdulahi, Gereng, Ésë, Mabior, Mohamed, and Petrieaged — say they were approached by staffers at the store in Maribyrnong, Melbourne. An employee, escorted by a security guard, told the 15 to 16-year-olds to leave the store because employees were worried they “might steal something.”
“These guys are just a bit worried about the presence in the store. They are just worried you might steal something,” the Apple employee can be heard saying on video captured by the students. The cellphone footage has been viewed on Facebook more than 50,000 times.
One of the teens asks: “Why would we steal something?” But he was immediately shut down by the employee: “Guys, end of discussion. I need to ask you to leave our store.”
Ésë, one of the students, said that he was shocked and offended by the incident that carried racist undertones.
“It was just really offensive when he said ‘we are afraid you are going to steal something.’ It was shocking; it was racism,” he told Mashable. “He didn’t even give us a chance.”
Apple released a statement, apologizing to the students and says the incident is being investigated.
“Inclusion and diversity are among Apple’s core values. We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. That applies throughout our company, around the world with no exceptions.
“We’ve looked into the details of the situation and we apologize to the customers involved. We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure all our customers are treated the way they should be.”
Watch video of the incident below.