Plaintiffs Brian Johnston, 34, and Nile Charles, 25, have accused Apple of discrimination after an incident they claim occurred on Dec. 9, 2010. Both Johnston and Charles went to the store at 1981 Broadway when the incident allegedly began with an Apple employee, said to be white and in his 50s.
The lawsuit notes that Charles and Johnston, who are black, went to the Broadway Apple store wearing “baggy jeans and large sweaters with hoods” to purchase headphones. It was around 3:20 p.m., they claim, that the Apple employee, about 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, confronted them.
The lawsuit alleges that the Apple employee approached the customers in an “intimidating fashion,” invading their “personal space,” and said to them, “You know the deal. You know the deal.”
The employee allegedly told the plaintiffs that they must leave the store unless they planned to purchase something or see a Mac Specialist. Johnston and Charles claim that before they could respond, the Apple employee told them they were not welcome there because of their race.
“And before you say I’m racially discriminating against you, let me stop you. I am discriminating against you,” the lawsuit claims the employee said. “I don’t want ‘your kind’ hanging out in the store.”
Johnston and Charles say they were “shocked and humiliated” by the alleged incident. They reportedly used their cell phones to record the confrontation when they say another Apple Store employee approached them.
“Now you have to go,” one of the employees is claimed in the lawsuit to have said. “If you want to know why, it’s because I said so. CONSIDER ME GOD. You have to go.”