‘Degraded’: Dad, sons bailed up in shopping centre car park

 

A CASE OF shopping centre hypervigilance saw an Earlville dad and his sons suspected of car park mischief on a routine visit to their local chemist.

Grant Richards said it was the disposable gloves and the colour of his sons' skin that had them in the sights of police and centre staff at Stockland Earlville.

Last week the family, wearing gloves Mr Richards said was a precaution against coronavirus, paused next to a car that was apparently making a "strange high pitched noise."

Little did the family know, they were being watched.

"Security surrounded us, and asked us 'why were you loitering around cars with gloves on'," Mr Richards said.

Earlville resident Grant Richards said he and his sons were racially profiled as car thieves at Stockland because they wore gloves in the car park to be COVID safe. Grant Richardson, centre and his sons Ray and Brendon with their car at Stokland shopping centre. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Earlville resident Grant Richards said he and his sons were racially profiled as car thieves at Stockland because they wore gloves in the car park to be COVID safe. Grant Richardson, centre and his sons Ray and Brendon with their car at Stokland shopping centre. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN


"We were accused of stealing cars because we were wearing gloves.

"I said 'there is a virus going around, that is why I have gloves on'."

The father of two accused another customer at Stockland of filming his family and then egging on police who had arrived at the scene.

He said his family had been "racially profiled".

"I feel really degraded," Mr Richards said.

"The first thing they said to me was 'it's because we are black'. I am pretty pissed off; I have been humiliated."

Police soon dropped the matter.

Acting Inpsector Gary Hunter said crime had actually dropped around Stockland since the pandemic.

He said although he had not seen reports of the incident in question, police officers treated members of the public equally.

A Stockland spokeswoman said centre staff had worked closely with police.

Originally published as 'Degraded': Dad, sons bailed up in shopping centre car park


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