A Virginia couple was shocked to find a police officer in front of their home when they returned from running errands, but they were even more surprised by the reason for the cop's visit-- to question whether or not they were in fact their children's parents.
Joseph, a white man who didn't want his last name revealed, and his black wife Keana told Fox5DC that they were outraged after the policeman told them a security guard at their local Walmart had suspected Joseph of kidnapping his three young daughters.
"He asks us very sincerely, ‘Hey, I was sent here by Walmart security. I just need to make sure that the children that you have are your own,’” Joseph said.
"I was dumbfounded," Keana said. "I sat there for a minute and I thought, ‘Did he just ask us if these were our kids knowing what we went through to have our children?’
The couple, who have been married for 10 years, have a four-year-old daughter and two-year-old twin girls. Joseph had taken the girls to a Walmart near their Prince William County home to cash a check and left after spending a short time in the parking lot. After speaking with the officer, they called the store demanding an explanation.
According to Keana, she was told a customer was alarmed after seeing her husband and children.
"Well, the customer was concerned because they saw the children with your husband and he didn't think that they fit," Keana told the news station. "And I said, ‘What do you mean by they don't fit?’ And I was trying to get her to say it. And she says, ‘Well, they just don't match up.’”
As interracial marriage rates increase, the birth of interracial children has soared in the past decade, with more than seven percent born in the year before the 2010 census. According to The Washington Post, Virginia leads the nation in the percentage of marriages between blacks and whites, making Joseph and Keana just one of many couples who may be subjected to similar treatment.
Although they were upset, the couple said they were not surprised by the incident. Walmart issued a statement to the TV station saying they were looking into the situation.
CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this article omitted a word in identifying the county in which the incident took place.