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Virginia man says Walmart suspected him of kidnapping his kids because they’re biracial

Discussion in 'The OT' started by fluffybear, May 28, 2013.

  1. fluffybear

    fluffybear Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Peachtree...
    From Fox News:

     
  2. fluffybear

    fluffybear Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Peachtree...
    I understand where both sides are coming from. I'm sure there is not many of us who have not left a store at one time or another with an upset child. I'm not saying this is the case but what if one of these young kids were upset and screaming because the other one got an extra piece of candy or juice box or just did not want to get in the car. people turn their heads when they hear a screaming child and there are some who like to get involved.

    I understand this may have caused some embarrassment for the Dad but would he have preferred people kept their mouth shut had it been a true abduction?
     
  3. carlsbad_bolt_fan

    carlsbad_bolt_fan Icon

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    No where in the story does it say his kids were 'upset'. This dad and his kids were racially profiled by a customer at the store. I'm white, my wife is Chinese and our two boys look more Asian than Caucasian. Had this happened to me, I'd be pissed. But then again, I live in Southern California where there are far more open minds than in Virginia. I also wouldn't be shopping in ANY Walmart.
     
  4. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Can't imagine that happening where I live. Do they live in an area where diversity doesn't exist?

    Rich
     
  5. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    Well considering the article does not mention the kids screaming for help or anything like that, I would be upset too. The article say's because he had a lot of kids when really it was more likely because he had a few kids that were black when he is white. So you really think someone is gonna kidnap 3 kids at wal-mart at the same time without causing a scene. Also if they had been kidnapped would he of taken them to Wal-Mart in the first place if they were previously abducted? This does not sound right to me.
     
  6. fluffybear

    fluffybear Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Ask me and I'll tell you my 3 kids (10, 8 & 3) are little angels who never cry, fight with their siblings, or give me a reason to raise my voice !rolling
     
  7. AntAltMike

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    People seem to be reading a lot into this. Woodbridge, Virginia is part of the metropolitan Washington, DC area. It isn't rural, western Virginia. From the excerpt in the opening post, I have no idea what prompted the security officer to be suspicious or concerned for the well being of these children.

    Still, I can understand that, when white people observe black people doing something out of the ordinary, they may tend to arrive at different conclusions than they would if they were of the same race. I grew up in lily white New Hampshire, so much of my early familiarity with "negroes" came from reading National Geographic magazine. Later on, I would see them on television, in professional sporting events and sometimes performing on The Ed Sullivan Show. And as the local TV stations acquired more video production capabilities, I would sometimes see them on the evening news, being arrested.

    I moved to the Washington, DC metro region in 1994. I remember one day, seing three young adult black males carrying a couch down a sidewalk along a main road and thinking, "Now, that's balls for you. Stealing a couch in broad daylight and carrying it away right in the middle of downtown". Half a block later, a cop car was approaching in the opposite direction and I though. "Now, they're going to get it!" so I slowed down to watch in my rear view mirror, only to see the cop drive on by without his brake lights even coming on. It was only then that I figured out that they probably weren't stealing a couch.
     
  8. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    How times have changed, and for the better, thankfully.
    Back in the day, if I saw a black man running, my first
    thought would be that he had just robbed a bank.
     
  9. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I would have to know the whole story to be sure... but this sure does sound a whole lot like a busy-body who didn't like the racial component. I have to think a lot of people come in to the store with misbehaving kids and have to grab their kids to keep them from throwing a tantrum... does this employee call the police in all such cases? He should, I mean couldn't they all be abductions? And in this case there was no accusation of unruly behavior from his kids... so what was it that called the attention to call the police?

    I've been in this guy's position... but I have no kids. My sister is 18 years younger than me... One day she was out of school sick and I was watching her... so we went out to eat at a restaurant. A nosy busybody lady there was staring at us... then came over to our table and started asking us personal questions like "where do you live"... I told her that wasn't any of her business and asked what her interest was. I also spoke with someone at the restaurant as well... the busybody eventually left.

    My sister and I talked... and we decided that maybe she thought it was strange for us to be there during the day... but IF she truly suspected something there was a better way to handle it... anyway, some people have nothing better to do than to cause problems.

    Curiously, though, I never had a problem picking my sister up from school. I always thought I would need to talk to someone or explain why I was there instead of our parents... but nobody ever asked. I always found *that* to be odd since even though I am her brother, I might not have been supposed to pick her up for all they knew. So this kind of thing goes both ways.

    Some people stick their nose in... other people don't question anything.
     
  10. joshjr

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    The point was, it was only noticed because the kids were black and the guy white. Otherwise why would it of stuck out? It said nothing about what any of the kids were doing.
     
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  11. fluffybear

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    Was it? or was it that a Wal-mart employee over reacted when a customer came to them and said there was a possible kidnapping? A lot of places take the threat of possible child abduction serious. Had this been a real abduction, the parents would have been praising Wal-mart..

    BTW, my point was that parents are never going to admit that there kid was acting out. The whole incident could have been sparked by someone observing a child having a meltdown at the time and not have noticed two other children already in the van.
     
  12. joshjr

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    I see you have made up your mind on it so no point in trying to change it. I guess we just see things differently.
     
  13. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Possibly... but is that the world we live in? Yes, we want to be vigilant against actual abductions and crimes... but to what end? Do you want to live in a world where any person can say "I think that is wrong" and it results in police dispatched and you having to answer questions even when you did nothing wrong?

    What about people with an axe to grind... who just go up to security and say "I think that guy kidnapped those kids"... maybe you have to carry around proof at all times that you are with your kids... or what if it is your grandkids? Are you going to be able to prove those really are your grandchildren and not kids you kidnapped? There's way too much abuse potential in this kind of knee-jerk scenario and it does very little to actually combat or help actual child abductions.
     
  14. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    A similar situation happened last year. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/14/white-grandfather-detained_n_1275383.html

     
  15. BattleScott

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    It seems to me like the customer who reported it is the only one who MAY have done something wrong. According to the security guard, it was a customer at Wal-Mart who approached the security guard and informed them of a situation. In my mind the security guard did the proper thing by informing the police and the police did the right thing by simply checking it out. There is nothing in the story about the police officer being racist or abusive in any way, they were simply doing their duty and following up on a reported situation.

    IF the customer saw things outside of the simple racial mix, such as the children crying, threatening or other suspicious behavior by the father, then it hard to criticize them too much for reporting it. What some people label as profiling under any circumstance, is just plain common sense in most of them. The fact that the children were of a different race than the father would certainly be a valid consideration when trying to determine if what you were witnessing was something alarming or something ordinary.

    If the customer's ONLY reason for questioning the situation was the mixed-race environment (which it sounds like perhaps it was), then that is truly unfortunate, but it shouldn't be held over the heads of the security guards, the police department and the entire Wal-Mart chain. Since the customer would not elaborate on why they thought it was alarming, I don't think you can fault security or the police for erring on the side of caution.
     
  16. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    If the customer would not elaborate... then what was the reason for the alarm, though?

    Can just anyone go to a security person and say "that guy is suspicious" and have it result in police called and people questioned.

    I get the policeman's problem... once he has been called, he pretty much has to go talk to the guy because "what if" he doesn't and it turns out he should have... so the policeman has to (hopefully tactfully and respectfully) investigate... but what would have happened if the guy didn't have photos in his wallet? I mean... outside of a dna test, how can any of us prove we are related to anyone else if asked to prove it?

    If we are in a world where it takes just one person to say "suspicious" and then the police are called... then we're already too far gone to be saved as a nation.

    Yes, we need to be vigilant... but random people shouldn't be able to create this kind of scenario so easily. *I* should not have the power to point at someone and say "I think you should call the police" and have it result in police coming out to talk to anyone... not that easily.

    Heck... I have been watching my niece and nephew in a restaurant while my sister was away for a bit... and there's no way I could prove to anyone those are my niece and nephew and that I have permission to be watching them... and sometimes they are acting up and I have to wrestle with the older one... and one is too young to talk, while my niece is old enough but still young enough that she gets my name and her grandfather (my father) names confused... so I can only imagine what would happen if I were that guy in the story of this thread.
     
  17. BattleScott

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    Erring on the side of caution, that is the reason. The alternative was to ignore it and hope that it was just a false alarm.

    I guess I just don't share the same visceral reaction to the "the police being called" as others seem to. It's not like the father was arrested and prosecuted, he simply had to answer a couple questions and the situation was quickly defused.

    The alternative in this case would have been to expect a security person working at Wal-Mart to assess a situation 3rd hand and determine what merit should be given to a particular complaint. No thanks, I would prefer them to do just what they did and let someone with some experience and authority handle the situation.

    I guess another possible alternative would have been for the security guard to refuse action and ask the customer to call 911 directly if they thought there was a just cause for concern. But then again, had it turned out differently, the security guard and Wal-Mart would now be the focus of public rage for not acting on a report from a witness to the crime.
     
  18. joshjr

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    Yeah, because we all hear about abductions three at a time right?
     
  19. joshjr

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    I think you are missing something here. Do you like to be accused of things you are not guilty of? What it if would of been you and someone said they were pretty sure they saw you with a huge bag of drugs. Would you like to be questioned only to find that you had a huge bag of flower? Part of it is public humiliation as well right?

    A few years ago I had 5 cops surround my car when all I did was pull into a store to get gas. The response from the cop was they had a report of a red sports car with a baseball bat in it. I had a red Camaro so I must have been guilty right. I let them check the car and they left. I thought that was the end of it but the people in the store wanted to know what I did as well as several people I knew drove by and saw that the police were surrounding me. I was explaining to people for weeks that I didnt do anything wrong.

    Like I said earlier, how many kidnappings do you hear about where someone is taking 3 kids at the same time. I mean someone would have to be pretty stupid to go to Wal-Mart and kidnap 3 black kids at the same time while they are white. Do you read about that happening often? I have never heard of it happening.
     
  20. BattleScott

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    About 10 years ago or so, I was pulled over in my rusty blue S10 pickup truck and the officer approached my window and asked for license and registration. As he was looking at it, his radio squawked that another unit had located the suspect vehicle, a rusty gray ford pickup parked in a shopping mall several blocks away. He said "Sorry for the confusion sir and to have inconvenienced you but we had a call of a hit and run involving a rusty pickup not too far away..." and handed them back to me. I said, "no problem officer, I am just glad you guys are on top of it" or something like that.

    The thought never crossed my mind that I was wrongly accused or profiled because of my rusty pickup truck.

    For your case, I think I would need to know more details. But, I doubt very seriously that any police department would commit 5 units to the search for a vehicle simply because it contained a baseball bat. I suspect there was far more motivation because whoever was driving the car with the bat in had had used it for something other than Baseball. In that case, I feel sorry for you, but I can't fault them for taking action.

    I feel for the parents in this situation, it is very likely that they were unjustifiably targeted by an ignorant at best (racist at worst) customer over nothing. But in my opinion, based on everything there is to go on, the security guard and the police did nothing wrong. They acted as they are supposed to and followed up on the report.
     

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