BRENTWOOD, Mo. — Three black teenagers went shopping at a discount clothing store in Brentwood, Missouri and got way more than they bargained for. Now the NAACP is involved.
"I was nervous the whole time," Mekhi Lee said.
Lee and two buddies were at a Nordstrom Rack where they said employees followed them around the store the whole time.
"Every time we move, they move. When we looked up, they looked up," Lee explained.
"Being a young black male, you experience certain things, you experience being watched," Dirone Taylor said. "But no one ever takes it to the next level as much as they did."
The store accused the trio of stealing and called police. Cops surrounded the boys in the parking lot but quickly let them go after an on-the-spot investigation proved they had done nothing wrong.
Eric Rogers II said, "The police we're actually good. They understood where we were coming from and they showed us that they were just doing their job."
Nordstrom Rack's president apologized to all three teens, in person, and said he stayed in town to review policies and training practices with store workers. That's something the St. Louis NAACP is pushing for.
Adolphus Pruitt is president of the St. Louis chapter.
"The discussion has to have some substance, it needs to be strategic and it needs to have some measurable outcomes," Pruitt said.
In another case about jumping to the wrong conclusion, the Rialto, California police department is facing legal action after three women claim they were targeted because they're black, including Bob Marley's granddaughter.
On April 30, as they packed up their Airbnb rental and loaded up their car, police swarmed them. A nearby resident didn't know she lived across the street from an Air BNB. She called the cops to report a possible burglary in progress.
Police locked down the neighborhood and detained the trio, despite seeing their reservation confirmations. The department issued a statement saying, in part, "They allowed the women to assist officers in locating the owner of the Air BNB, which they say was unlicensed."
Officers believed they were on the up-and-up. No telling if they convinced the nosy neighbor.