Forest Whitaker was publicly frisked in the middle of a New York deli after being accused of shoplifting which leads many to believe the only thing that made him suspicious was his race.
Anyone who hasn’t been hiding under a rock for the past century knows that Forest Whitaker is an Academy Award winning actor who has also obtained much success in directing and producing as well. So why in the world would he be trying to shop lift goods that’s even the average middle class American can afford from a deli in NYC?
While there isn’t any proof of racism being what provoked the public frisk, you can’t help but wonder if the only thing Whitaker was guilty of was shopping while black.
It all happened Friday morning when the Hollywood millionaire was on his way out of the deli. Suddenly an employee stopped Whitaker and accused him of grabbing some items off the shelf and trying to leave without paying for them.
Even bystanders who were inside the Upper West Side Milano Market were shocked and in disbelief when they saw the employee frisk the famous actor in public for all to see.
Needless to say, the rich actor hadn’t stolen a single thing from the establishment and he left the deli outraged.
“This was an upsetting incident given the fact that Forest did nothing more than walk into the deli,” his rep told TMZ. “What is most unfortunate about this situation is the inappropriate way store employees are treating patrons of their establishment.”
The question remains: is it all patrons being treated this way? Or would the employee not dare touch Forest if he was a white man in a business suit?
For some reason, the employee had no problem violating the “Repo Men” star’s Fourth Amendment rights which assures citizens that any search can’t happen without probable cause or a search warrant.
“Frisking individuals without proof/evidence is a violation of rights,” his rep continued.
So what happened to the small market? It seems like Frank Ocean’s poetic policy on forgiveness is spreading all over the country because the actor decided not to call the authorities.
“Forest did not call the authorities at the request of the worker who was in fear of losing his employment,” the rep added. “Forest asked that, in the future, the store change their behavior and treat the public in a fair and just manner.”
That’s it. Just a mild scolding and the market is free to go on accusing people of “swiping” items off their shelves without any evidence.
While we commend Forest for wanting to save the employee’s job, he may have turned down an opportunity to show business that they can’t get away with profiling their customers – whether it’s based on their race, clothes, or whatever the case may be.
The police needed to look into the matter and see if there are any other customers who have been publicly frisked when they hadn’t stolen a single thing from the store, but since the incident wasn’t reported to police they won’t have the right to push such an investigation.
With stats proving that African American males are profiled by police more than any other demographic, will the cops be willing to believe another black man who had been the victim of the public frisking since they won’t have the star power that Forest has?
It’s one thing to forgive, but sometimes we need to get to the bottom of things and we need to get answers.