Suspicious of shoplifting: Shopping While Black | 11-year old black girl
Note from BBT: So what is it a report on Brazil without a good ole case of “because she’s black”? I’ll just file this one under the “shopping while black” category. I know a lot of people will look at cases like this one and think, “Well, we don’t really know that this happened just because she’s black.” But in any situation like this, the question always boils down to, would this have happened to a little blond girl of the same age and size? I know that many will simply dismiss this question as well and typically, in Brazil, people will vehemently deny even harboring racist sentiments. But this case is different and it doesn’t even matter about the “what if” because the employee in this case actually admitted that he stopped and searched an 11-year because she was black. Case closed.
Shopping while black: Employee forces 11-year-old black girl to lift blouse to prove she didn’t steal something
A candy store employee forced an 11-year-old black girl to lift her shirt and prove that she hadn’t stolen any products at the establishment. According to the employee’s own account, when he apologized to the family, the child aroused suspicion because of her color and kinky/curly hair.
According to information from the UOL news site, the case happened last month in the neighborhood of Penha, in the northern zone of Rio de Janeiro, but recently resonated on social media after the victim’s older sister reported the case on the internet.
“He spoke with the utmost naturalness that they really need to be suspicious, because many boys and girls from the community come down to steal from the store and that he distrusted her because of her color and the hair that had fallen over her face when she bent down,” said the victim’s sister.
According to the site, the child had gone to the store alone at the request of the mother to buy popcorn for the birthday of her younger sister, 3 years old.
“She was walking around with a purse of money in her hand, a cell phone, and the bags of popcorn. Then she put her phone in her pocket and bent down. He came up questioning if she had picked up anything. My sister said she did nothing. Even so, he told her to lift her shirt. That was when she started to cry, with a lot of people gathering in the market, because the place was very crowded. She was embarrassed, ashamed.”
The girl’s sister said that the family had contacted the police, who said they couldn’t send a police car a vehicle to the scene and advised them to file a police report on the internet. The case was registered.
“She doesn’t want to leave the house or buy anything else alone. She keeps asking me why this happened to her,” said her sister.
The case occurred at UFA Atacadão de Doces, which has yet to comment on the case.
“We understand that it’s a case of racism. What happened was a stereotype-driven approach, as the employee told the family that many children of color commit crimes in that region. There was an illegal constraint with an aggravating factor that the victim was a child. We also identified another flaw which is the police having informed that they couldn’t send a vehicle to the place, and it’s the duty of the State to also protect the child,” said the family lawyer, saying that the store will be named in civil and criminal areas.
According to the lawyer, the child has shown a change in behavior after the fact.
“It’s a child who is already undergoing psychological counseling for other difficulties and now needs to deal with all that has happened. She is more withdrawn after the fact.”
Source: A Tarde