Mekhi Lee, and two of his friends, were shopping at a Nordstrom Rack in Missouri on Thursday for prom and graduation clothes when they were falsely accused of shoplifting.
According to Lee, a black teenager who recently graduated high school and is in his freshman year at Alabama A&M University, several employees followed him and his friends Eric Rogers and Dirone Taylor. who are also black, around the Brentwood Nordstrom as they shopped.
‘I was nervous the whole time,’ Lee told CBS News. ‘Every time we move, they move. When we looked up, they looked up.’
Lee said he called his mother to tell her what was going on and she told the 19-year-old college student to try and talk to the manager. Lee told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the manager never came to talk to them.
Before the group left the store, Lee said he and friends purchased a few items. When they got back to their car, police surrounded them.
In a video posted on Lee’s mom’s Facebook page, the teens are heard explaining to an officer that they did nothing wrong.
‘They want to stop us in the store and make sure we wasn’t stealing nothing. Just ’cause of how we look,’ one of the teens says.
The boys were eventually allowed to go without charges.
Rogers told CBS that his frustration is not with the officers who questioned him and his pals because they were just doing their job.
‘The police were actually good. They understood where we were coming from and they showed us that they were just doing their job,’ Rogers said.
The teens also said they were harassed by another customer in the store who thought they were stealing after seeing the employees follow the boys around the store.
Taylor told CBS that the customer, an elderly woman, called him and his friends ‘punks’ and asked them: ‘Are your parents proud of you for what you do?’
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Source: Daily Mail