A quick drugstore run turned into an outlandishly offensive scenario when two black men asked a CVS employee if they sold sliced cheese.
Ricky Berry and his roommate, Philip Blackwell, walked into the store in Carytown, Virginia looking for cheese. When the two asked an employee if the store had any, she told them that the store didn’t. Moments later, the two employees present disappeared. Berry and Blackwell were looking for the staff members with another customer for more than 30 minutes, then the cops showed up, WRIC reported on November 23.
“All I asked for was sliced cheese,” Berry told the local outlet.
Berry, who documented most of the incident, shared on Snapchat that someone called the cops on them shortly after Richmond Police Department showed up. The customers explained that they just wanted to buy cheese and then the employees vanished. The cops were also confused about where the staff had gone and joined the search.
They eventually found the employees hiding in a locked room in the back of the store. Berry told WRIC that the officers told the customers that they had to leave or they would be arrested for trespassing.
Berry said in a Snapchat video, shown in the video above, that they were “being kicked out because they were scared of us and they were hiding.” In one video he shared, someone can be heard saying “you gotta go.”
CVS Communications Director Michael J. DeAngelis told The Huffington Post that the corporate office and district manager has apologized to Berry. He said that it is against policy for employees to leave the sales floor unstaffed during hours of operation and the company is “reinforcing the appropriate way for employees to respond to what they believe may be a security concern.”
DeAngelis also said that CVS has “firm nondiscrimination policies that are rigorously enforced throughout the company” and that there is “no indication that the race of the customers played a role in this incident” because the two employees who worked that shift are black.
The Huffington Post did not get an immediate response when attempting to contact the Richmond Police Department.