Black man jailed for eating chips dropped by convenience store robber
Being Black in America can get exhausting. Joseph Braswell, a 36-year-old Tennessee resident, recently found himself in jail for eating chips that someone else had stole. Yesterday (Feb. 21), WREG published an article detailing the unfortunate situation.
On Feb. 9, an individual entered a Memphis convenience store to buy beer. At some point, he and the Parkway Village Circle K clerk began to argue because the associate refused to sell him alcohol. This prompted the would-be customer to begin knocking products down in the business, and he eventually pushed over a display of chips. He then went a step further and took the entire rack that the chips were on and exited the store, driving off with the stand.
Braswell walked into the business at the end of the confrontation while the clerk was following the assailant outside. Alone in the store, Braswell noticed a few packs of chips had fallen, picked up two bags, and began eating them. The employee contacted Memphis Police, who arrested Braswell that night after they reviewed video footage of the snacking. Authorities noted that the chips were valued at $4.98, and Braswell was charged with theft of merchandise less than $1,000. According to the local news station, he was released yesterday morning.
The store manager Melanie Jackson stands by her decision to have the 36-year-old arrested. “People come in here daily on a daily basis stealing; they think that is okay. My inventory is 17,000 short [because of] people coming in here stealing,” she said. She added that small crimes turn into big issues. “Kroger left because they were stealing, the mall left because they were stealing, the Walmart left because they were stealing. So if everybody is gone, what are you going to do when Circle K decides we’re fed up?” The man who stole the display of chips has not yet been found.