Whole Foods Market — assault
Hello My name is Martin. I'm a videographer and reporter for NPR, Youth Radio based in Oakland, and Radio Arte in Chicago. Most of my work involves health education, food security activism, human rights campaigns, and nutrition. I have been a Whole Foods customer for about three years now. My family decides to spend a little more on food so that we can eat quality food. We did not expect to have to sacrifice our civil liberties and well-being. I'm sad to say that due to recent violent acts against me and my family I am launching a campaign against Whole Foods for harassment and brutality towards customers and discrimination based on class and race.
At approx. 1pm CT at the South Loop Chicago store I was approached by a man who asked me if I shoplifted some candy. Seeing as how it was a ridiculous charge I started to walk away after I told him it was in the trash. He then threatened me with arrest, which would be False Imprisonment in most states. I decided to comply and explained that I had thrown away the food and eaten some as well, but not stolen it. I took the man to the trash can and he told me to take the garbage out and show him the food. I walked away because he was being unreasonable and unprofessional by asking me to take garbage out in public and saying things like "I want my candy". As I was walking toward the exit I was tackled from behind and thrown head first into the wall as my family looked on. I was put in handcuffs while the public watched and dragged through the crowd. I was then taken to the back of the store and told I was being charged with assault and battery.
The man then searched my clothes and went through my wallet and ripped my shoes off my feet. He then said he was calling the police and that I would be in jail soon for "being a punk". This man's name is Muawia A. Awad and works for Southgate Market Security, according to the name in his office and what people called him. I am pressing charges against Muawia A. Awad, Southgate Market Security, and Whole Foods Market.
This post is an attempt to reach out to whatever people may be concerned about this or those who have experienced something similar. If you have any comments please contact me at martin.[protected]@wrte.org.
I just got back from covering the Democratic National Convention in Denver and am getting tired of being pushed around by people who abuse their position of authority and are under the illusion that they have the power to harass people and violate their rights.
Thank you for your time. Peace.
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