California woman falsely accuses Black man of stealing son’s phone at Walmart
The man eventually heads back inside to speak to an employee, when the woman’s son walks in with the phone in question.
A man named Ya’shear Bryant said that while he was shopping at a Walmart location in Moreno Valley, California, a woman accused him of stealing her young son’s iPhone, claiming the phone’s location tracker showed the phone in Bryant’s car.
In the cellphone video he captured, Bryant said the woman ran up to him inside Walmart and accused him of stealing her son’s phone before following him outside, claiming she was only headed that way because the GPS tracker on her son’s phone led her in that direction.
“I know I’m Black with tattoos, so she automatically assumes I have it,” Bryant says in the clip.
“She runs up to me and says, ‘Excuse me, you have my son’s phone?'” he continues. “I pull my phone out and tell her I do not, as well as my money and my ID, and tell her who I am, and I do not steal.”
“The only reason I’m not leaving,” he says, “is because I don’t have the phone. That’s why I’m not leaving.”
Eventually, Bryant asks the woman for her name, and she suggests that they just “call the cops.” She then complains about being recorded and says she didn’t “come after him,” implying that she politely asked the man if he had her son’s phone.
When Bryant asks the woman if he will get an apology when the police arrive and find that he doesn’t have the phone, the woman replies, “Sure.”
Bryant begins to walk away, and the woman blocks his path, demanding he stay put until the police arrive. He eventually heads back inside the Walmart to speak to a store employee about the situation.
“I’m dealing with this woman’s irateness,” he tells a store employee, “because her son can’t be responsible for a phone. That’s not my fault. But being racially profiled? That’s gonna be hers.”
The woman’s son then walks in, holding his phone.
“Her son found it in the car,” said Bryant. “Now, I’m gonna press charges.” When he asked the woman again for her name, she tells him to “go f**k himself.”
Bryant filmed the interaction and posted the footage on social media and YouTube. The clip has now gone viral, with many chiming in with their opinions.
“The fact that she is unable to be remorseful about the situation is why this continues to happen because she felt she is correct to falsely accuse someone of a crime. Even when the evidence proves her wrong. This could have gone left a couple different ways,” said one Twitter user.
“This man gets harassed at Walmart for ‘existing while Black’, and when the woman gets confronted by her own ignorance and racial profiling, she tells the guy to ‘go eff yourself’, all while withholding any apology,” wrote another.
“Once again, our people are being subjected to unjust racial profiling & harassment over a CELLPHONE! She didn’t even have the common decency to apologize for her FALSE accusation! This behavior is disgusting & incredibly dangerous!!” outspoken civil rights lawyer Ben Crump wrote on Twitter.
“Dang! Someone even noticed that she is wearing a @kpthrive shirt. Sad example for her kids,” said another Twitter.
Internet sleuths zoomed in on the woman’s shirt which had the name and logo of Kaiser Permanente, a healthcare organization in California. She has reportedly since been identified as Liz de la Torres, a Kaiser employee.
The organization put out a statement on Twitter, saying, “Thank you for sharing this. This video has been brought to our attention and we are actively investigating it. The conduct in this video does not in any way reflect the views or beliefs of Kaiser Permanente.”
Bryant’s wife, Brishette, has set up a GoFundMe page and is looking to raise $10,000 so her family can take legal action against the overly-anxious mother.
“Please educate yourselves about Emmet Till, whom was brutally beaten, tied to horses and dragged into town, due to false accusations,” the page reads. “Or John Crawford 3rd whom was gunned down at a Walmart due to false accusations as well.”
The fundraiser amassed over $3,600 at press time.