Video shows white Nike store manager accusing black family of stealing basketball – Nike now investigating

By Caitlin O'Kane

/ CBS News

A white Nike store manager was caught on camera accusing a black family of stealing a basketball. Joel Stallworth and TaMiya Dickerson bought the basketball at the Santa Monica store for their 19-month-old son, Samuel. They accused the manager of racial profiling and wrongly accusing them of shoplifting, and Nike is now investigating, CBS Los Angeles reports.

TaMiya Dickerson posted a video to Facebook that starts out happy, then turns into a contentious situation. First, her son Samuel is excitedly playing with his "first basketball" inside the Nike store. Later, Dickerson and her family are seen outside the store, speaking with the manager and a police officer.

The video also includes a copy of the receipt for the $12 basketball. Dickerson alleges a store manager followed them out of the store and accused them of stealing the ball, despite the family telling her they purchased it. The manager flagged down Santa Monica police officers for help.

#repost My Story😡 feel free to Share. We don’t fear no evil! Imagine being a 19 month old black baby boy. Your father purchased you your first basketball at 9:01 pm on a Friday night. A moment that creates a bond you will always be connected to. But in an instance someone steals your ball; because they accuse your father of shop lifting. Welcome to America Sammy. I hope you don’t have to get used to this – Dad As commotion rises in the air from the earthquake we decided to head to Santa Monica with our friends in town. Feeling eerie about the quakes we decided to push through as we were visiting one of our favorite stores, Nike. As we went inside the store we notice the upstairs was for men and the downstairs for women. I walked up the stairs with my son on my shoulders feeling really proud. The earthquake dissipated from my mind. We saw kids playing and looked at one playing with an orange basketball. I thought to myself I want to buy my son his first ball here at Nike because I really love the brand. Little did I know after purchasing this orange toddler size basketball that I would be followed and profiled as I leave the store. We cross the street as my son Samuel and I are embracing our father and son moment to hear a lady tell us STOP can you return the ball you stole from the store. I looked at her in disbelief. Like it was a joke but she wouldn’t stop following my family and I. She reached out saying again return the stolen ball. I looked back at her and told her “I didn’t steal the ball, I paid for this” as we begin to exchange words I keep walking. The next thing I know an officer came up to me an said hey sir, you stole that ball. The woman was standing with them accusing me of stealing the ball saying I needed to give it back. Emotions got high as my family and I tried to explain we paid for the ball, it’s ours we own it. We were accosted on all sides having to stoop to her level. This seems to be the American way for people like us. This has happened, far too many times to me personally. My son, I would hope, will never have to experience this again.

Posted by TaMiya Dickerson on Saturday, July 6, 2019

In the video, the family repeatedly insists they paid for the ball. One family member is also heard calling the manager "stupid."

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"Emotions got high as my family and I tried to explain we paid for the ball, it's ours we own it," Dickerson wrote in the post. "We were accosted on all sides having to stoop to her level."

Dickerson demanded a refund and an apology, CBS Los Angeles reports. "This is what happens to us all the time," she is heard telling the officer, alleging the manager racially profiled them.

The couple did return the ball for a refund, according to CBS Los Angeles. Nike has now responded to the July 5 incident.

"We are taking the recent situation at our Santa Monica store very seriously, and we are currently investigating the facts. We have reached out to the family to express our deepest apologies, and we will continue to work with our teams to deliver on our expectations for consumer experiences," Nike spokesperson KeJuan Wilkins said in a statement to CBS Los Angeles.

First published on July 19, 2019 / 8:58 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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