CUPERTINO, Calif. (CBS Sacramento) — An Apple store in Melbourne, Australia, is accused of racial profiling customers after a group of black teenagers was asked to leave over concerns of shoplifting.
The California-based tech company is now facing scrutiny after one of the teens posted video footage of the encounter to Facebook with the caption “Simply Racism,” as reported by CBS News.
The 19-second video documents an Apple employee’s discussion with the teens.
“These guys are just a bit worried about your presence in our store. They’re just worried you might steal something,” the staffer is heard saying.
“Why would we steal something?” one teen asks.
“End of discussion,” the staffer replies. “I need to ask you to leave our store.”
The group of six students, who are all in 10th grade at Maribyrnong College and of African or Middle Eastern descent, reportedly did nothing to warrant being asked to leave.
“What those boys were doing in that Apple store was no different to what every other kid does in that Apple store, which is fawning over really cool devices, playing with them, taking photos of each other,” school principal Nick Scott told CBS News. “Just kids being kids and certainly being no different to quite a few other kids at the time.”
The teenagers believe they were asked to leave solely based on their race.
Many social media users have taken to Twitter to express their concern and frustration over the video.
Apple did not immediately respond for comment regarding the story. The principal requested the store manager speak with the teens to discuss the unsettling incident. On Wednesday, the students met with the store manager who apologized and said they were welcome in the store.