Apparently, this is one of many cases of living while being black in America. Erika Martin was doing a duty on behalf of her church with her sisters and ended up dealing with the police in the process. According to CNN, she was stationed at a Mountain View Safeway in California when supermarket employees called 911 on her and her family due to suspicions of shoplifting when she was only there to help the homeless.
Last month, Erika and her two sisters Faith and Ashley were giving out care packages prepared by their church for the homeless in their locality, and Erika spotted a homeless man named Rabbit who frequents the area of the Mountain View supermarket. She went on to supply him with food for his dog and even fed the dog some of the food through the window. Faith and Ashley also handed Rabbit and another homeless man a care package.
“My sister and I we were at the grocery store and I had seen the homeless guy. His name is Rabbit and I gave him the bag of dog food through the window and I was feeding his dog through the window,” Martin tells CNN.
As Martin prepared to leave, she was blocked by a police car as she backed up and was soon approached by four officers. After going through a series of extraneous questioning, one of the officers informed Erika the employees of Safeway found her fitting to a description of an individual who was seen taking items from the store and placing them into a car. The employees reportedly told police Martin was wearing a blue spaghetti strap, when in reality she was rocking a white tee that read “Y’all need Jesus.”
“I’m just sitting in my car listening to some gospel music and my sisters walk over and we’re just talking and all of a sudden I see a Safeway employee run up from Safeway and he’s looking at me and he’s looking at my sister,” Martin describes her observation.
Safeway has reportedly apologized for the incident deeming it as a misunderstanding. According to the supermarket’s spokeswoman Wendy Gutshall, the main purpose of the police call was due to reports of a man who was suspected of shoplifting in the past being present inside of the store.
“Safeway has reached out to Ms. Martin to sincerely apologize for the misunderstanding, and we look forward to continuing the discussion regarding her concerns. We have also commenced an internal investigation, which remains ongoing,” she said.
Martin is reportedly set to sit down with a representative from Safeway’s corporate office on Wednesday. So much for doing good while Black, right?