A Black mother spoke out after she was blocked from leaving a Kroger parking lot by an irate white woman pushing a stroller.
Shaneeka Montgomery-Strickland was at a Kroger store in Livonia, Michigan, on Saturday, June 13, when she encountered the unidentified white woman. The mother of three told Fox 2 Detroit the conflict started when one of her children stood on a bottom shelf to retrieve a Gatorade drink.
“She said, ‘Oh my god, they went up to get the Gatorade and I’m trying to shop here.’ It was irateness,” Montgomery-Strickland recalled. “I told her please don’t yell at them and then she started yelling at me. And I said, ‘You don’t have to yell at me, they got the Gatorade.’ And a lot of people where, if you’re short you’re going to go up there and grab what you need. There’s not a lot of workers in the aisle, you have to do what you have to do and you move on.”
Montgomery-Strickland also accused the woman of calling her a b***h in front of her children. The tension spilled over into the store’s parking lot. The white woman, who was pushing a small child in a stroller, stood behind Montgomery-Strickland’s car and refused to move. Montgomery-Strickland saw the situation was escalating so she went live on Facebook.
“She still went to her car, came back with the baby in the cart, called me the B-word, then she stood behind my car because I started videotaping after that,” she said.
The white woman repeatedly complained about Montgomery-Strickland’s live stream and claimed it was illegal to film her child. The woman called the police and they bickered until officers arrived. As soon as the police pulled up, the white woman rushed over to them. One of the officers walked over to Montgomery-Strickland and she told her side of the story. A Kroger employee also spoke to the police.
Throughout the video, Montgomery-Strickland noted how a security guard and store management saw what was happening but did not intervene. The video was viewed more than 100,000 times. She posted a follow-up video while sitting in the car with her kids about 45 minutes after the first stream was published.
Montgomery-Strickland called the confrontation “about the craziest thing [she’d] ever ever experienced.” She said the police took a report and the woman was taking pictures of her license plate. She also noted the police “let me leave with no problem.”
“I don’t like how she talked to me, I don’t like how she talked to my kids. And I refuse to shop in a place of business and have somebody act like that,” she said in the second video. “It was really disrespectful. I hate that the kids had to see that, but now they see. They were, like, ‘that lady is racist’ and I say ‘yeah, she is,’ because there was no cause for it. Like nobody did nothing to her. She basically attacked us without putting her hands on us.”
Montgomery-Strickland is glad she pulled out her camera during the encounter and thought it was important for people to see.
“I’ve gotten a lot of responses,” she told Fox 2 Detroit. “People are very angry and upset about it because they say it makes no sense. What is wrong with people? Why are they still out here doing this after all that’s going on, all the changes we’re trying to make? After Black Lives Matter? It makes no sense.”