Security guards accuse Black couple couple of shoplifting during marriage proposal at Angry Orchards Brewery
A Black doctor says her special moment was ruined when an Angry Orchard security guard interrupted her fiancée in the middle of proposing to her, just to accuse him of stealing a t-shirt from the brewery’s gift shop.
On Sunday, Cathy-Marie Hamlet took to Facebook to recall the moment she was racially profiled at the Walden, New York brewery with her fiancé Clyde Jackson who was celebrating his 40th birthday with six friends.
But what Hamlet didn’t know is that her fiancé also had another idea in mind to pop the question. The two walked out to a lawn area as her fiancé geared up to make his big move and that’s when she said an Angry Orchard security official butted in and said, “‘I’m sorry sir, but I have to check your back pocket. I was told that you stole a T-shirt from the gift store.’ ”
Hamlet said her man “emptied all of his pockets, while still trying to keep the ring box hidden,” PEOPLE reports.
The security guard first walked away when it was clear that her fiancée didn’t have a stolen shirt tucked away. Then Hamlet let the security guard returned “mid proposal,” and asked her to empty her bags.
“[She] says to me, ‘I’m sorry, I need to check your bag. I was told that he gave it to you, and you put it in your bag,’ ” Hamlet recalled. “Mind you, my bag isn’t even large enough to fit a T-shirt.”
“I emptied my entire bag in front of her, and since this was the SECOND time she had walked over, I said, ‘I know you’re just doing your job, but I can’t help but wonder if this is because we’re Black. We’re the only Black people here at your establishment.’ “
“Of course, she said that that wasn’t the case,” Hamlet continued.
Hamlet said her fiancé finally got to propose but when their friends started cheering after Hamlet accepted security returned.
The security guard to ask to check the belongings of all six of her friends.
“So at this point, the rest of security walks over and there’s 6 of them approaching us,” Hamlet wrote. “Of course my friends told them none of us stole a T-shirt from their establishment, at which point they started getting aggressive and saying that not only them, but also patrons saw my boyfriend steal the shirt and/or transfer it to me to put in my bag!! Another woman in security yelled to one of the male security, ‘Call the police! I saw you steal it.’ “
“I felt humiliated, especially after one of my white friends made a point of asking them to check her bag for the T-shirt, but they refused to do so,” Hamlet said.
“Security started taking our pictures, recording video, and took a picture of my license plate number.”
The group decided to leave before things escalated since they threatened to call the cops. She said they left, “rather than be attacked by the multiple security guards of Angry Orchard,” she said.
TheGrio reached out to Angry Orchards but no one would comment about the incident.