A man from Moreno Valley is speaking out after posting a video online that went viral of a woman falsely accusing him of stealing her son’s cell phone at a Walmart in Riverside, which later turned up in her car.
The video showing a woman accusing a Black man of stealing a cell phone has received more than 300,000 views online.
“This lady on the phone, she accused me of stealing her son’s phone,” 29-year-old Ja’Shar Bryant’s voice could be heard saying on the video he posted online after he claims he was racially profiled.
Bryant says the woman followed him out of the store demanding he turn over the phone.
The video shows Bryant and the woman eventually going back inside the store and employees begin questioning him. Then, the woman’s son shows up with the cell phone in his hand after apparently finding it in the woman’s car. Bryant demands an apology but instead, the woman curses at him.
“For sure she had some type of hate towards me,” said Bryant. “I don’t think anybody understands how fearful it is to be by yourself and to feel like the whole world is going to come get you in a matter of a second.”
Although she’s seen talking to somebody on the phone in the video, Riverside police say the woman never reported a theft to them, and they say she did not commit a crime.
Bryant and his wife said this isn’t the first time he’s been racially profiled.
“I’d give that lady my shoes for one day and ask her to wear it…one day…go anywhere you want to go and just watch how they look at you,” Bryant said.
The woman was wearing a shirt that had “Kaiser Permanente” written in small letters at the bottom, but it was not immediately known if she was an employee.
In light of this, Kaiser issued a statement that said:
“This video has been brought to our attention and we are actively investigating it. We are still learning all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident. Kaiser Permanente is committed to fostering equity and inclusion in our workforce, and ensuring we remain a safe and welcoming place to obtain care for our members, and the communities we serve”
Riverside police said the woman filed an incident report complaining that the video went viral and her identity was made public, but police say there’s no investigation because Bryant committed no crime.