‘Shoplifting Though?’ Bed Bath & Beyond Under Fire For Racial Profiling Of Black Couple

‘Shoplifting Though?’ Bed Bath & Beyond Under Fire For Racial Profiling Of Black Couple

Before going bankrupt, Bed Bath & Beyond was a first stop for people looking to spruce up and bring comfort to their homes. But for for a Black couple in Toledo, Ohio, the experience was less than plush.

According to Newsweek, Lamar Richards and his partner, who’d recently bought a house, were shopping for a at the big-box retailer when they were approached by a store employee who proceeded to take more than $200 worth of items from their cart and store them behind the counter until after the pair had finished shopping. Police officers later revealed to Richards that they had been called to the store by staff who suspected the two had been shoplifting.

Richards shared his experience on Twitter with a photo of him and his partner in front of their home. “Imagine that. Purchasing your first home. Excited to begin building generational wealth,” he wrote. “And then you visit a @BedBathBeyond store and you’re accused of shoplifting because you ‘had too many high ticket items in your cart.’” Richards, an incoming Johns Hopkins University graduate and director of advocacy at the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development, was even more shocked to find himself profiled during both Juneteenth weekend and Pride Month as a Black gay man. “We had no idea the police were there because they were called for us,” Richards tweeted. “I have a Johns Hopkins T-shirt and my boyfriend has on a Michigan College of Pharmacy T-shirt. We literally just wanted to buy some stuff for our new house and THIS is the welcome we get to the area.”

In a statement, Bed Bath & Beyond rebuked the behavior of its staff. “We are deeply concerned about the reported incident and are actively looking into the matter, as we do with any incidents described that are inconsistent with our policies and procedures,” the statement read.