A Mishawaka, Indiana, J.C. Penney employee was caught on tape Thursday, Dec. 29, brutally holding a young Black girl in a headlock after she knocked over a display when told she and her family didn’t belong in the store and must leave.
The employee allegedly told the girl and her family that they didn’t belong in the store and asked them to leave immediately, reported WNDU 16 News. In a fit of pique, the teen knocked over a promotional display and was grabbed by the employee.
As the man continued to wrestle with the teen, members of her family can be heard shouting “Let her go!” and “She can pay [for the display]!” But the man refused even as family members pleaded with him, only offering to free the girl if the others backed away.
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By the end of the video, mall security arrived on the scene and took the girl away in handcuffs. She was later released into the custody of her father.
The teen’s mother plans to speak to a lawyer before making on-camera appearances about the incident. The teen, however, told WNDU 16 News that the situation could’ve been diffused if the employee had just let her out of the headlock when she asked him to.
As of this report, the store has not responded to WNDU’s requests for comment.