Michaels store and police discriminated against black teenager


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Imagine that you are a teenager applying for a job and you end up being arrested for trespassing before your resume is even considered.

This is what happened in the case of an anonymous 16-year-old black youth in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights on Friday determined that the Brooklyn Center Police Department and Michaels Stores, Inc. racially discriminated against the teenager who visited the store. crafts looking for work in 2019. According to CBS Affiliate. bathroomCO, he also found that the police had used excessive force.

The department is seeking “structural change” through a settlement with Michaels and the police department and monetary relief for the teenager, WCCO reports.

Here’s what happened that day, according to the Minnesota reformer:

A manager – an unnamed white woman – called 911 to report that a black “kid” with dreadlocks “walked around the store, played with the balls … spilled stuff on the shelves” and would not leave. not after being repeatedly asked to do so.

Surveillance video shows the teenager juggled a few items but put them back in place, while another store employee testified that he was not acting out of the norm and that there was no reason to call the police on him.

The teenager left the store as directed by the manager, but returned later to say he felt she had kicked him out because he was black. The manager asked another employee to prevent him from entering the store and again called 911 to report the teen was touching the employees. Surveillance video does not show him touching any employees, notes the reformer.

More from the Reformer:

Three officers arrived shortly after the second 911 call and one of the officers found the teenager shopping at another store. He walked over to the teen and grabbed her arm, saying “Come here man.”

The teenager backed up, raised his hands and said, “Don’t touch me.”

The officer later said raising his hands “is a posture of aggression showing resistance.”

Another officer then entered the store and together they threw the teenager to the ground, grabbed and pulled him by his dreadlocks, put one knee behind his back and handcuffed him, according to the report. ‘investigation.

The teenager, while on the ground, shouted “Don’t kill me. I want to grow up.

An officer replied, “Maybe you should stop fighting the police. ”

The teenager was taken to hospital and later charged with disorderly conduct, trespassing and obstructing court proceedings. All charges were dropped, but Michaels banned him from entering stores for a year.

According to the Reformer, the director had a history of racial discrimination. An employee told investigators the manager instructed employees to monitor all black customers, but only track white customers who appeared to be under the influence.

“It’s unimaginable how the scariest day of my life began when I applied for a job at Michaels. The police were called because of my skin color and they mistreated me to the point that I thought I was going to die. No human should fear the police when we are told they are protectors. There should be changes so that it never happens again, ”the teenager said, according to WCCO.

The Department of Human Rights Investigation Report Also notes the differences between the agents ‘accounts of events and what the department’s investigators heard from witnesses and saw on the agents’ body camera footage.

According to the Reformer, the officers said in their official reports that the teenager fought them. They also said that when he was handcuffed, they helped him get up from the ground. However, footage showed the teenager was compliant and officers Actually shook him by the handcuffs and searched him without any verbal instructions.

“We take any allegation of discrimination very seriously and work every day to make Michaels as inclusive and diverse as possible,” said a spokesperson for Michaels, according to WCCO. “In this case, we do not agree with the findings based on the facts of the incident and plan to appeal the decision.”

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