Protesters assemble outside Crown Heights store after video surfaces of employees holding down alleged shoplifter

Protesters took to the streets in Crown Heights after video surfaced of a man accused of shoplifting was detained by store employees.

News 12 Staff

Jun 8, 2020, 4:11 PM

Updated 1,450 days ago

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Protesters took to the streets in Crown Heights after video surfaced of a man accused of shoplifting was detained by store employees.
A community is calling for justice after the video of a man being held down by staff at Met Foodmarkets on Nostrand Avenue was released.
The man in the video being held down is identified as 47-year-old Jason Rayford.
“They immediately put him into a chokehold while others pinned his body down,” says Kirby Joseph, of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
Police tell News 12 Rayford is accused of stealing $154 worth of grocery items and was arrested and charged with petty larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.
He and other organizers of this protest say the issue is much deeper, because they say the worker was using racial slurs as he held him down.
 
A man who identified himself as the owner of the supermarket spent the morning watching on as protesters stood outside the store.
When News 12 tried to ask him to explain what happened, some of protesters intervened.
A statement was posted on the Met Foodmarket’s Instagram page saying in part that the incident involved a repeated shoplifter continuing on that when they tried to stop him he became “aggressive and assaulted our staff.” Further down in the statement it says “we will learn from this. We apologize to those who were hurt by this incident.”
Organizers say this isn’t a one-time issue and they’re not going to stand for it.


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