Reverend Manikka Bowman and real estate director Jeff Myers were accused of stealing six apples from the Conners Farm in Danvers, Mass., on Sept. 6. The couple had paid more than $100 for admission to the farm for themselves and their children.
Bowman and Meyers detailed the racist incident in a blog post on shoutout.wix and their story quickly went viral. The couple had intended to spend the day together with their 18-month-old and 7-year-old at the farm picking fruit and buying apple cider donuts.
The day had gone off without a hitch, and the family had an incredible day until they left the apple orchard and were accused of stealing six apples by a security guard and other staff.
The couple claimed that their kids had overpicked the delicious fruit in their excitement, and that six of the apples didn’t fit in the bag, a fact the couple didn’t notice until leaving the orchard. Bowman and Meyers planned to pay for the extra six apples at the farm store, where they also planned to buy some apple cider donuts.
“We spent more than $100 on all-day admission, fruit picking as well as food and drinks. We also donated to the James and Robert Connors Scholarship Foundation that was marketed at the property. Throughout the day, the staff was gracious and helpful. But that dramatically changed as we were approaching the end of our day,” wrote the couple, adding that their little ones were overzealous in picking the apples but assumed they could pay for them at the store before being stopped by a security guard.
The couple wrote that the staff began to search Bowman’s purse for more “stolen” fruit. They requested the owner’s contact information in writing but were refused. After the couple continued to push for the information, the staff called the police on them.
“The police officer was tempered,” they wrote. “However, despite our visible frustration and attempts to explain the situation, he never took our position seriously. Rather, his actions and words assumed that the manager’s narrative was accurate and then accused us of ‘playing the race card.'”
The couple’s 7-year-old burst into tears at one point during the stupid ass accusations. The family said they were confused, embarrassed and outraged try the incident. They had even donated to a charity being marketed on the property, only to be accused of theft.
After the blog went viral, Connors Farm issued an apology on Sept. 9 and claimed to have personally apologized to the couple.
“We regret the incident that happened this past weekend. We have extended our personal apology to the family. We do our best to train our employees to handle all customer issues with courtesy and respect at all times. We are taking further steps to ensure that staff will undergo diversity, equity, and inclusion training. Please know that everybody is welcome on our farm.”