May 28th, 2013
WOODBRIDGE, Va. – A Prince William County man says he was suspected by Walmart security of possibly kidnapping his three young daughters — all because they aren’t the same race.
Joseph, who doesn’t want his family’s last name revealed, and his wife Keana are an interracial couple. They have been married for nearly 10 years and have three daughters: a 4-year-old and 2-year-old twins.
On Thursday evening, Joseph took all three girls to the Walmart in Potomac Mills in Woodbridge to cash a check. He says they weren’t there long, but spent a few extra minutes in the parking lot while he buckled the girls in and then made a phone call.
Joseph says he then went to up his wife, Keana, and as they were arriving home, they were shocked to find a Prince William County police officer waiting for them.
“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 says.
“I was dumbfounded,” says Keana. “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?’
“He took my ID and asked my 4-year-old to point out who her mother and father were.”
Joseph says the officer told them a Walmart security guard reported seeing him in the parking lot with the girls and thought it was strange.
Soon after the officer left, Keana called Walmart demanding an explanation. She says after asking to speak with a manager, she was transferred to a Walmart security officer who denied raising the alarm. The officer said it was a customer that came forward.
Keana says she was told, “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.’”
Keana and Joseph say the incident at Walmart is troubling, but not surprising. They say throughout their courtship and marriage, they have been subjected to racism in various forms.
They say now that their daughters are in the picture, they are speaking out to help shed light on the ignorance that still exists. They want to show people that love sees no color, especially when it comes to family.
Walmart issued a statement saying: “There’s still a lot of unknowns at this time and we’re currently looking into the situation.”
Joseph and Keana say they will never shop at Walmart again.
Watch the video here.