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Local News

Racism claims after Apple store in Melbourne ejects black students

“We’re worried you might steal something”

By Natalie Babic
An Apple staff member appears to have been caught on camera ejecting six black teenagers from a store over fears they "might steal something".
The boys - Petrie, Mabior, Mohamed, Ese, Abdulahi and Gereng - filmed the incident which shows the group being asked to leave the Apple store at Highpoint shopping centre in Melbourne.
"These guys are just a bit worried about your presence in our store," an Apple staff member is heard telling the teenagers. "They're just a bit worried you might steal something."
"Guys, end of discussion, I need to ask you to leave our store," the staff member says.
The Year 10 students involved in the incident said they were shocked by their treatment.
"I've been coming to Highpoint for a long time and I never thought something like this would happen ... of course I was offended," Mabior Ater told Fairfax Media on Wednesday.
Mabior says it is not the first time he has experienced racism but "this is the first time it has been this big."
Mohamed said their school principle, Nick Scott, accompanied them back to the store on Wednesday afternoon, so they could request an apology from the Apple store manager, Mashable reports.
The employee said he apologised if his statement was taken out of context, adding that the teens were welcome in the store any time, according to Mohamed.
"Cheers for the support guys means a lot, Apple have apologized and justice came through!!" Mohamed wrote on Facebook after receiving the apology.
But he said he still wants a further apology from Apple. "I want a public apology," he said. "It was the only time in my life I have felt this way, and I'm shocked." Ese agreed he had not experienced any similar issues in stores prior to this incident.
A spokeswoman from Apple said it was looking into the situation but said Apple was committed to cultural diversity and inclusion.
The spokeswoman supplied a quote from Apple chief executive Tim Cook, which reads: "We want every person who joins our team, every customer visiting our stores or calling for support to feel welcome.
"We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. That applies throughout our company, around the world with no exceptions."

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