Customer alleges racial discrimination from Bowmanville Canadian Tire

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Published September 15, 2023 at 4:39 pm

This man alleges empolyees at the Bowmanville Canadian Tire racial discriminated against him and called the police on him. - Via TikTok

A man alleges he was racially discriminated against by Canadian Tire employees in the retailer’s Bowmanville location.

In a now-viral TikTok, @lorisroston, a Black Jamaican man, records a man who alleges he saw the customer swap out a more expensive drill for a cheaper one. The video pans and shows two uniformed employees behind him.

“I saw you swapping the drills,” the first employee, who is not in uniform, says. When the customer asks to see the security footage of the aisle the first employee says “It was me who saw.” A second employee, in red with an apparently broken leg, confirms there are no cameras on the drill aisle.

The second employee asks the first to call the police and the man switches phone view to show himself. The second man walks away to call, followed by the first. The man asked a third employee, who was on the phone, what they wanted him to do while they waited for police. He asks if he can step outside but the third employee shakes his head.

“Welcome to Canada as a Black man,” the man says to his phone, “This is what can happen to you.” The man later filmed his cart showing no drill among his things.

@lorisroston Discrimination#Jamaicanbeingraciallyprofiled#beingblackincanada#beingblackinbowmanvilleontario#f ♬ original sound – Jewayne

In a second longer video, the man is joined by his wife who asks the first man, “Do you shop? You can pick things up and put them back down.” She continues, “Where’s the other manager? I’m not seeing any other Black people so I’m thinking it’s the racist card.”

The first employee maintained he did not accuse the man of stealing but insisted “I don’t know what he was up to. He left it [the drill] there.” The woman replies, “Because he didn’t want it.” “You need to lose your job. You know why? Because a customer is allowed to pick 10, 15 stuff and put them back down, doesn’t mean they’re doing anything,” she continues.

The employee says the store does not need the man’s business and suggests it was the customer’s idea to call the police. He says the manager is declining the man’s business and that he “is just on the job.”

The woman then accuses the employee of being racist. He points to his own brown skin and ask how he could be a racist since “we have the same skin.” The employee appears to be South Asian. “I didn’t accuse him,” the worker said, “but his intention was not good.”

@lorisroston Beingblackinbowmanvilleontario#raciallyprofiled#bewarned#superwife#strongpartner#beingblackinbowmanvilleontario ♬ original sound – Jewayne

In a third video, taken before the man’s wife arrives, the employee hands the man a trespass notice prohibiting him from entering the store again in the future. The page reads, “Please be advised you are prohibited from entering the premises… Should you decide to disregard this notice please be advised that a police officer will be called and you will be arrested and charged… Please govern yourself accordingly.”

In a later update after the videos went viral, the man provided an update. He said the police arrived and escorted him away from the store. He confirmed he was taking legal action against Canadian Tire for racial discrimination.

After posting, the man’s videos of the incident attracted four million views over the last few days. Many commenters urged the man to sue the store and others reported experiencing similar treatment.

Canadian Tire’s media office did not respond to a request for comment prior to publishing.

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