Black Lawyer Unfairly Accused of Stealing

R.R., an African-American lawyer, was shopping at a large retail discount store with his six-year-old son. He picked an item from one section of the store and asked a clerk where another item for purchase might be. As he entered the next section, he heard the store owner bellowing at the clerk, demanding to know why he let R.R. walk to the other section with his item and bellowed, “Don’t you know that that’s how these people steal!” R.R. approached the owner and demanded to know why he was accusing him of stealing, and the owner loudly demanded that R.R. leave the store. Torn between standing his ground and removing his terribly distressed child from an ugly situation, R.R. reluctantly decided to leave.

Once outside, he was approached by two witnesses who said that they had seen the whole thing, and that they wished to testify for him. The witnesses were a judge and his wife. We settled the case for an undisclosed amount.