Black Man Alleges Racial Profiling After Hobby Lobby Employees Call Police on Him
An Alabama man says he was racially profiled at a Hobby Lobby store in Trussville this week after an employee called the cops on him while he tried to make a return.
Brian Spurlock said the incident unfolded Tuesday, when he went to return his girlfriend’s recently-purchased vinyl machine, which he claimed was broken. Despite having a receipt for the item, a store manager refused to refund Spurlock his money because the item was already opened.
“I said, ‘Is there somebody else I can talk to that can assist me with this?’ She said ‘yeah wait,'” Spurlock told local station ABC 33|40. The manager then asked for his ID and said she was calling corporate. Minutes later, the police showed up instead.
Apparently, employees mistook the Alabama man for a suspect they say had written bad checks and was returning stolen items to the store. The cops arrived and asked Spurlock for his ID but he balked, asking why they needed to see it. That’s when officers informed him he’d be charged with trespass if he didn’t hand it over.
Spurlock eventually gave the officers his ID, after which he was cleared and issued a full refund for the item. The reimbursement has done little to settle his outrage over the incident, which occurred in front of his girlfriend, her children and several customers inside the store.
“[Hobby Lobby’s actions made] these folks look at me like ‘Oh, he stole something. Oh, he did something wrong,'” Spurlock told ABC 33|40. “…Y’all embarrassed me and [that] hurt. It made me feel like I don’t need to go in no stores no more, because I look like somebody and [police] might arrest me.”
In a statement, the Trussville Police Lt. Phil Dillon confirmed police were called to the store when a worker reported that Spurlock resembled a man who had committed crimes inside the store. Dillon said that “Hobby Lobby did have a picture of the person that was writing bad checks and making fraudulent returns — and it looked somewhat like the person in the store but it did not appear to be him.”
Spurlock’s girlfriend, Ashley Maddox, detailed the ordeal in a Facebook post and shared a short video of the incident. A store employee is heard apologizing to the couple for the situation and explains that workers were only following directions.
“This is supposed to be a Christian store, so why not support the Christian,” Maddox said. “But, unfortunately, they’re the wrong kind of Christians.”
My boyfriend went into Hobby Lobby in Trussville, Al to return an item that I didn’t want, and he had the receipt to the…