Woodbridge, VA — A Prince William County father is saying he was accused of kidnapping his own children by Walmart security.
The reason? His kids are biracial, and he is white.
Joseph, who has declined to reveal his family’s last name, has been married to Keana, a black woman, for nearly a decade. The couple have three daughters together, a 4-year-old and 2-year-old twins.
Joseph took the girls to the Potomac Mills Walmart to cash a check. In the parking lot, he buckled his daughters into their seats and made a phone call. When he went home to pick up Keana, they were greeted by a Prince William County police officer.
“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. The officer said a Walmart security guard thought it was strange when he saw Joseph with his daughters in the parking lot.
“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 officer took Keana’s ID and asked the couple’s oldest daughter to point out her mother and father.
After the officer left, Keana called Walmart for an explanation. She was transferred to the security officer, who denied expressing concern and said it was a customer that had come forward.
Keana said the security officer told her, “Well, the customer was concerned because they saw the children with your husband and he didn’t think that they fit. 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.’”
Walmart issued a statement saying, “There’s still a lot of unknowns at this time and we’re currently looking into the situation.”
This isn’t the first time a Walmart has been accused of racism. At a New Jersey Walmart in 2010, someone went on the intercom and said, “Attention Walmart customers: All black people leave the store now.” The case was investigated as a bias crime. A 16-year-old was later arrested for the incident.
What do you think of Joseph being accused of kidnapping his own daughters?