Homewood, AL. “ARE YOU GOING TO STOP EVERY BLACK WOMAN?”
On December 1s, Brenda Rivers, a 59 year old black woman shopping at a Wal-Mart in Homewood, Alabama was handcuffed and detained for half an hour before being released. Police suspected her of stealing a wallet. But the woman refused to allow police to search her, and she was stopped for trying to leave the scene.
"I am a human being. Let me go,'' the woman was seen saying repeatedly on a video of the incident. "So are you going to stop every black woman with a black jacket?"
Her husband told the media that he and his wife had just entered the store when a police officer approached them. "He just accused her. He wanted to go through her purse without a search warrant or anything. Our rights are being infringed."
After Homewood police realized the woman had not stolen the wallet, they apologized. "What we would like to say, first and foremost, is we apologize for the negative encounter she had with our agency, our officers,'' at a press conference the next day. "They are good officers who want to a good job. We apologize not only to the Rivers' family, but to the shoppers and those inside the store who witnessed this event."
What you can do: It was not clear if Wal-Mart apologized for the incident, but it is likely that the Rivers family will not be shopping at Wal-Mart any time soon.