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‘Why Are You Doing This to Me?’: Videos Capture Texas Kroger Security Guard Dragging, Pepper-Spraying a Female Shopper In One of Three Instances of Profiling Black Women

A supermarket security guard is on track to be without a job after three Texas women, on separate instances, were allegedly racially profiled by him. Each incident was captured on video, showing the man’s conduct and the various ways the ladies say he discriminated against them.

Shelondra Peavy, Stephanie Teel, and Teel’s cousin Kamesha Sterling claim that a Kroger market security guard (hired by Allied Universal Security) violated their civil rights.

Kamesha Sterling being dragged out by security guard (Fox 26 Screengrab)

Last week local station Fox 26 broke the news of the incidents, a report that included some cellphone video of the encounters, and by the weekend the guard was no longer employed at the Houston store.

Peavy told the station that on Tuesday, June 21, at the Kroger Antoine Town Center she was having trouble shopping when the guard accused her of shoplifting. 

“She [Peavy] says she couldn’t carry any more in her hands, so she dropped some of her items in a clear Kroger produce bag and continued shopping,” Fox 26 described. “That’s when she says the Allied Universal Security guard seen in the video accused her of stealing.” 

“During their encounter, the guard can be heard admitting that he called her ‘Black and ugly,'” the account continued.

Peavy is heard asking the guard on the video, “You just said I’m Black, and I’m ugly.”

“Yes, I did,” the video depicts him replying

The report said this is similar to what happened to Stephanie Teel, a woman with special needs, on Wednesday, April 13 with the same guard.

“Stephanie was with her cousin, Kamesha Sterling, when she opened a Kroger burger inside the store and started eating it,” the report stated. “Sterling says she had every intention of paying for it when they got to the register. But the security guard approached them, an altercation ensued, and eventually, he pepper-sprayed and dragged Stephanie from the store.”

During the altercation, Sterling began to record, documenting how the guard appeared to drag Teel out of the store before the two women were pushed out of the building.

During the altercation, Teal could be heard on the video asking the guard, “Why are you doing this to me?” 

Sterling is yelling, saying, “He’s like, ‘She’s stealing!’ I say, ‘She’s not stealing. I have a basket full of groceries, I’m paying for everything.’” 

Sterling said the same guard followed her in May, thinking she also was shoplifting and demanding to know what was in her bag. Not one of the three women was charged with shoplifting in connection with the incidents.

This story comes days after a New York Times article dropped an expose showing a radical contrast to the claims from the Houston store. The newspaper detailed how security guards and workers at stores like Kroger are actually at risk of being attacked by customers.

After a review of FBI assault data, the Times discovered that on a national level, assaults inside of retail establishments have been increasing over the past few years. From 2018 to 2020, assaults in grocery stores have bumped up about 63 percent and in convenience stores 75 percent.

Such a trend is counter to the claims brought by the women in the Houston Kroger store as well the outcome of the December 2021 incident where a Memphis Kroger security guard, Gregory Livingston, was indicted on a first-degree murder charge after video showed him fatally shooting Alvin Motley in the market’s parking lot over him playing loud music.

The grocery chain has taken a hard stand on their employees inflicting trauma on their customers.

In a statement, the Kroger corporation said, “We expect all third-party contractors to live up to those values, which also include respect, diversity, and inclusion. We will not tolerate this type of behavior from third-party providers that operate within our stores.”

A spokesperson said, “The Allied Universal Security Guard in question will no longer service Kroger stores.”

No word if the man has been fired.

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