CHICAGO -- A family is demanding an apology from a Printers' Row 7-Eleven after she says her sons were thrown out of the convenient store late Thursday night for "acting suspicious." But she's telling another story, saying that the boys were racially profiled and thrown out of the store for no reason.
Catherine James-Matthews says she sent the boys, 15-year-old Colbie and 13-year-old Cahlil, to the store to buy snacks. When they returned to the car a few minutes later, they told their mother the clerk had kicked them out, saying he thought that they were going to steal something. So she went back into the store with her camera phone rolling.
"What kind of world do we live in where I have to tell my kids that even though you're respectful, they're not going to respect you back, and it's sad," James-Matthews said.
The clerk can be heard on the video accusing the boys of taking food from the shelf, and tossing it to another location, while questioning why Cahlil was standing by the door "acting suspicious." His mother claims they were told to leave because of the color of their skin.
"I know it's a conversation that I was going to have to have with my sons one day. I know we'll talk about it again some day. I guess I just wasn't ready for my kids to run out of the store scared," she said.
The boys maintain they didn't do anything wrong and were scared by the clerk's actions.
"He took my brother's stuff, that he was going to buy, and then, he just kicked us out," 15-year-old Colbie said.
"I was kind of shivering a little bit, but it was just crazy," 13-year-old Cahlil said.
Community activists are demanding an apology from 7-Eleven and asking that the clerk be fired, otherwise they say they will protest in front of the store every day until their voices are heard. 7-Eleven has released a statement saying every customer important, and that they were investigating and will make sure the situation is handled appropriately.