Skip to comments.Lawsuit claims black sacker, ban from Big Sandy grocery store violated customerís rights
Posted on 09/06/2012 6:12:05 PM PDT by Texican72
BIG SANDY -- A Hawkins man is claiming his civil rights and religious freedom were violated earlier this year when a black man sacked his groceries and a Big Sandy grocery store owner banned the customer from the business.
DeWitt R. Thomas filed a federal lawsuit in July against Keith Langston, owner of Two Rivers Grocery & Market.
According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Tyler, Thomas entered the market on March 5 to buy food.
He stated in a nine-page, hand-written lawsuit that he told the grocery sacker, a black man, Wait a minute, dont touch my groceries. I cant have someone negroidal touch my food. Its against my creed.
Thomas claimed the cashier was perplexed by his request and yelled at him to take his items and leave.
In a telephone interview Wednesday, Thomas said, Its pretty simple. They treated me really bad because I told them it was against my creed.
According to the lawsuit, Thomas went on to explain he meant a black person when he used the term negroidal.
The sacker, Aaron Menefee, said he thought Thomas was just kidding around.
The first time he said it, I thought he was joking, Menefee said. Then he just kept repeating it.
Menefee said once he realized Thomas was serious, he called for someone else to sack the groceries, at which time Menefee went to another part of the store.
I didnt feel physically threatened, Menefee said. I just felt verbally assaulted.
Langston wasnt in the store at the time, but his employees told him about the incident.
I decided when I heard about what happened that I was going to file a criminal trespass against him, Langston said. I just had to wait for him to be present so he could sign it.
When Thomas returned two days later, he noticed the same black man would be sacking his groceries, so he again requested the Negro not handle his groceries, according to the lawsuit.
This time, Langston was there. He called police to serve Thomas a criminal trespass warning. While waiting for the police, an employee locked the doors, and the lawsuit claims Thomas was unlawfully restrained.
Thomas said Langston broke the law the night he locked him in the store.
We were closing, and I dont know of a business that doesnt lock their doors when they close. It keeps more people from coming in, Langston said.
Thomas said he doesnt understand why he had to deal with the same situation twice.
My question is, why after I told them how I felt and that it was against my creed did this negroid try to impress himself upon me and try to handle my groceries again. Thomas said.
Thomas said his religious beliefs are based on Vedism, which he said encompasses Hinduism.
Vedism translates into knowledge. I am not this way because I am ignorant. Ignorance is the enemy, he said.
Thomas said he has not broken any laws and was exercising his religious freedom and the rights he has been given.
White people are to be protected under the civil rights law just as anyone else, Thomas said. It would be the same as if you asked that a congoid (a person from west/central Africa) not touch your food.
Thomas based his claim that his civil rights were violated on that criminal trespass order. He also said Langston is wrong for trying to tell him who can touch his groceries and refusing to serve him.
When I go through (a store) and buy groceries, those groceries become my property, Thomas said.
Langston said he is not trying to tell Thomas what to believe or how to live, but his store is a privately owned business.
He was banned because he was using racial slurs, but he has turned it into a religious thing, Langston said.
Langston said Thomas would have been allowed to come back had he said he preferred to sack his own groceries.
We have a few people who want to sack their own groceries, but its not for the same reasons DeWitt gave, Langston said. They do it because they just like to have their stuff bagged a certain way, certain groceries in certain bags.
Thomas said he is going forward with his complaint because Langston has no right to stand against what he believes in.
If he wants to stand in opposition of who I am, then we are going to go forward with this here thing, Thomas said.
Langston said he wants the whole thing to just go away, but insists Thomas will never be able to come back into his store. He said Thomas told him he would drop the complaint if he dropped the criminal trespass.
Ive had several people say they wouldve touched a hell of a lot more than his groceries if they had been in line behind him, Langston said.
No kidding. What a scumbag.
And that comes from a man who believes the civil rights amendment is one of the most disastrous things our government has ever done.
Probably supports Ron Paul too.
If Barak had a son...
Hard to believe this crap still goes on in this day and age. Sad, just sad.
DeWitless might be one of the great, productive taxpayers upholding the plantation through some government regulatory/judicial/social employment.
does he have a facebook?
Sounds like someone who would vote Democrat “cuz my daddy did”
What is vedism??
I’d say he hasn’t thought this all the way through. He needs to think about how many “negroids” may have touched his food before it even got to the cashier. In a week or two he won’t have a problem.
This guy’s a dumbass but the store owner was pretty stupid to lock the guy inside.
In other words, he's a mental patient.
The owner was double-dumb to lock him in. DeWitt is going to win that one. I've been in stores at closing with the doors locked, and they always have someone on hand to let you out. Pretty sure the fire marshal would have something to say about that if they didn't.
Now, picture how this scene changes if DeWitt were Muslim, and requested that no women or Jews touch his food...or that the cashier and bagger wear gloves... Or if DeWitt were Orthodox and requested meat, vegetables, and dairy be bagged separately. You can see how this is quickly going to get out of hand. You have to come back to - this is my store, this is how I run my business. You don't like it, take your business somewhere else.
Yeah, well, guess what, boys and girls......he has a legitimate complaint and will probably win.
My lady friend is third in command of a security company; a large grocery store chain is their largest customer.
I know when, how, and why you can “trespass” someone. Oh....they do loss prevention in these stores as well, so I also have learned how, when, why, etc. you can detain someone.
You absolutely, positively, can NOT lock the store to have cops come and “trespass” someone because they’re a racist asshole. It doesn’t work that way.........and by God, not a ONE of you want it any different.
Imagine being in line and muttering something negative about Obama, only to find the doors locked until cops come to serve you trespass papers. Think that’s a stretch? Think again.
This guy will win in court. They had zero right to lock the doors and prevent him from leaving. ZERO. He hadn’t stolen a thing. He hadn’t physically threatened anyone. He didn’t pull a weapon.
I don’t care if any of you disagree....it’s fact.
Was it written in crayon?
Agreed. That single act will cost him in the end. It's his store but he IS open to all the public so he should have asked DeWitt to please shop elsewhere or to bag his own groceries. But to effectively hold the man against his will no matter how he personally felt was just plain dumb and misguided.
I've always heard that it takes all kinds. Langston is lucky not to be charged with kidnapping.
I would love to be there in D.C. when this lawsuit arrives in the U.S. Justice Department Civil Rights Division. Eric Holder is going to work really hard for this guy!
Agreed. The customer is going to lose his lawsuit: a private property owner has the right to refuse service and to ban him from entry, for almost any reason. There are a few reasons prohibited by federal law, but this isn't one of them.
However, if the customer were to file charges for unlawful restraint, the store owner would be at the mercy of the local district attorney, who may or may not pursue it. The store owner had no cause to arrest him.
If he was demanding his rights to have a non-negroish person bag his groceries and making no attempt to leave, the state of the doors does not matter,
The difference is, the Orthodox separation of goods isn’t offensive against a person. It’s no different than anyone else wanting their groceries bagged a special way, and the owner says he allows folks to bag their own in that case, without regard to why.
He’s making that Hindu stuff up.