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Forest Whitaker

Blasts NYC Deli

I Was Falsely Accused of Stealing

2/16/2013 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0215-forest-whitaker-milano-gettyForest Whitaker is furious with a NYC deli ... telling TMZ he was wrongly accused of shoplifting Friday morning ... and even FRISKED IN PUBLIC in a humiliating violation of his rights.

Whitaker -- an Academy Award-winning MILLIONAIRE -- says he was on his way out of the Milano Market on the Upper West Side Friday when he was stopped by a deli employee and accused of swiping an item from the shelf.

An eyewitness tells TMZ ... the employee proceeded to frisk Whitaker in plain view ... treating him as if he were a common criminal.

Shocker, the employee's pat down yielded zilch ... and Forest left the establishment baffled and angry.

Whitaker's rep tells TMZ, "This was an upsetting incident given the fact that Forest did nothing more than walk into the deli. What is most unfortunate about this situation is the inappropriate way store employees are treating patrons of their establishment.

Frisking individuals without proof/evidence is a violation of rights."

The rep adds, "Forest did not call the authorities at the request of the worker who was in fear of losing his employment. Forest asked that, in the future, the store change their behavior and treat the public in a fair and just manner.”

We called Milano Market for comment -- but no one wanted to talk. 

425 COMMENTS

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31.

tenley    

But TMZ commenters don't think racism exists. Go back and look at their comments about Spike Lee.

526 days ago
32.

LISA    

That just goes to show what a class act Mr. Whitaker is. I'd be FURIOUS if I was wrongly accused, then frisked in public view. I know that's NOT proper protocol.


Props to him for not wanting the employee fired. I hope the deli re-trains their security to ask future suspected shoplifters to go to the office, where they can be questioned and 'frisked' in private.

526 days ago
33.

tenley    

This board is full of Lindsay Lohan apologists who go to extremes to defend her as innocent despite flagrant repeated evidence to the contrary -- how many of them are now saying, Well maybe he was acting suspicious.

526 days ago
34.

Jackie    

LOL...Some workers are Paranoid.

526 days ago
35.

Kelly    

Oh, please. Call a cop, or it didn't happen.

526 days ago
36.

jabberjaws    

Rich people problems.

526 days ago
37.

snowboardchick    

If anyone tried to frisk me I would frisk them in the face with my fist

526 days ago
38.

Spicy mag    

He let the guy touch him, therefore he's a little bitch. I would've punched the guy in the throat.

526 days ago
39.

Kelly    

And how does that scene go from "hold it right there" to "please don't call the cops, I don't want to lose may job." This made up confrontation doesn't pass the smell test. A better story - Is FW having a nervous break down? Why is he making up dumb crap?

526 days ago
40.

My 2 Cents    

At least he didn't sue like everybody and their mama's do

526 days ago
41.

spectator72    

I always thought the most dangerous people are security .Some security not all are people with a little power and big head that couldn't pass a police test

526 days ago
42.

South Side     

What could it be about Mr. Whitaker that would make those racists employees accuse him of being a shoplifter? Hmmm..... Hopefully nothing REALLY BAD happens to that store and their employees.

526 days ago
43.

Scary    

I bought a frozen pizza once at Ralphs - I went through the self checkout, passed at least 3 employees while doing so. Since it was one item and I was going straight home, I didn't bag it. I got stopped in the parking lot, because some woman saw me walk out with just the pizza and told a worker. Yeah, I had the receipt right in my hand - guess it's a good thing I bothered to grab the receipt. Not to mention the freezers are on the complete opposite side of the store...but I guess that woman thought she was do-gooder Eagle Eyes. Stuff happens, even to normal people going about their day.

526 days ago
44.

KicksandGiggles    

Bottomline; the moronic clerk has probably done this many times before. He/she profiled Whitaker and automatically assumed the worst. The clerk pulled this crap on the wrong person...called Karma... And now the doo doo has hit the fan. I personally hope the clerk loses their job and if the owner supports the clerk, lose the business. This crap has NO place in 2013!!!

526 days ago
45.

MEME    

Y'all know damn well that they stopped and frisked him because he is black, nothing more. Especially in the ritzy ass Upper East Side where they think they are no rich and wealthy minorities that can afford to patronize their stores, a black person walks in and they automatically assume that they are gonna steal something. They always signal their employees to follow the black person to make sure that they don't see them steal anything. I was at an UES store shopping and some lady asked if I worked there. This happens to so many black people, I hope he sues the hell out of that store, even though he doesn't need their money. At least they got put on blast in the process. A store like that needs to be called out for their illegal practices.

526 days ago
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