A black couple was interrupted in the middle of the future husband’s marriage proposal at a New York farm Sunday by the farm’s security due to what the future bride says was because they were black.
Cathy Hamlet and Clyde Jackson decided to make a trip up to the Angry Orchard farm in Walden, New York, from New York City to celebrate Jackson’s 40th birthday. The couple and their six friends eventually left the farm because security kept accusing the couple of stealing a t-shirt from the farm’s gift shop.
In a Facebook post, Hamlet shared the incident which ended in what Hamlet said “security happily waving us goodbye in the parking lot as we exited.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Security Interrupted Jackson in the Middle of His Proposal Speech
After the couple and their six friends got settled, a security officer came up to Jackson and asked him to empty his pockets, according to Hamlet’s recollection of the incident which she posted on Facebook.
“My boyfriend walked me out to an empty table on the lawn, and before we could sit down, a young lady from security approached us and said to him, ‘I’m sorry sir, but I have to check you back pocket. I was told that you stole a T-shirt from from [sic] the gift store,’ Hamlet’s post stated.
Jackson then emptied all of his pockets, all while trying to keep the engagement ring hidden from his future fiancé. The security official then walked away from the couple.
After a few moments, the same security officer came over and interrupted the couple again, this time in the middle of Jackson’s proposal.
“She then walked away, and my boyfriend and I sat down at the table and he began his proposal speech. MID PROPOSAL, the same young lady from security walks back towards and says to me, ‘I’m sorry, I need to check your bag. I was told that he gave it to you, and you put it in your bag,'” Hamlet’s post stated.
2. Hamlet Emptied Her Purse to Show She Did Not Have the Shirt, but According to Hamlet, Security Insisted on Checking the Belongings of the Friends They Were with
According to Hamlet’s post, she emptied her purse to show the security officer that she did not have the alleged stolen t-shirt. After Hamlet confronted the security officer about the fact that she and her future groom were the only black people there, they were then left alone to finish the proposal.
“Mind you, my bag isn’t even large enough to fit a T-shirt. I emptied my entire bag in front of her, and since this was the SECOND time she had walked over, I said, ‘I know you’re just doing your job, but I can’t help but wonder if this is because we’re Black. We’re the only Black people here at your establishment.’ Of course, she said that that wasn’t the case,” Hamlet wrote.
After the proposal was a success, Hamlet, Jackson cheered and begin to celebrate the occasion, until the same security official came back, according to Hamlet.
“And then the other 6 our friends walked over to us to hug and congratulate us. Then surprise, surprise…the same young lady from security walks over to the group of us and says, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you all were a part of the same party. I have to check all of your purses and pockets,'” Hamlet’s post stated.
3. After More Security Officials Confronted the Couple, One Claimed She Personally Saw Them Steal the Shirt
According to Hamlet’s post, after security confronted the friends of Hamlet and Jackson’s several other security guards started getting involved.
“Of course my friends told them none of us stole a T-shirt from their establishment, at which point they started getting aggressive and saying that not only them, but also patrons saw my boyfriend steal the shirt and/or transfer it to me to put in my bag!!,” Hamlet wrote.
Hamlet then wrote that one security official told the others to call the police.
“Another woman in security yelled to one of the male security, ‘Call the police! I saw you steal it.’ I asked them, ‘Do you have security cameras here?’ And they said yes. So I said, ‘Well then you need to go and roll back your tape and see that nobody here stole anything from you guys,'” Hamlet’s post stated.
Hamlet claimed that security began to take pictures of the couple and their friends, including a picture of Hamlet’s license plate number. The couple and their friends left shortly after what Hamlet said was Angry Orchard security chasing them out of the parking lot. They also said they were not interested in waiting around for the police to show up.
“It started to get confrontational and I wasn’t interested in waiting around for the police because we didn’t know what would happen,” Hamlet told NBC News.
“I have never been so humiliated in my life, myself and some of my friends left Angry Orchard in tears. On what was supposed to be one of the best days of my life, I was chased out of Angry Orchard by security who followed us all the way to the parking lot,” Hamlet wrote.
4. Angry Orchard Said Security ‘Mishandled’ the Situation
Taylor Roy, a senior communications specialist at Boston Beer Company, the parent company of Angry Orchard told NBC News that they are trying to make the situation right with Hamlet and Jackson.
The company said they have reached out to the couple “to try to make things right and prevent something like this from happening again.”
Roy said the claim the security guards made was credible but the situation was “mishandled.” The company claims that it is now providing additional training to its staff.
5. Hamlet Called out Angry Orchard out Directly & Said What Was Supposed to Be the Best Day of Her Life Was Ruined
Hamlet called on Angry Orchard directly to roll back security footage from that day and apologize to her, her fiancé and her friends.
“I implore Angry Orchard to ROLL BACK THEIR SECURITY FOOTAGE on July 21st, 2019 because they owe all 8 of us an apology,” Hamlet wrote.
She also said she will not be drinking Angry Orchard again, tagging the farm and it’s partner beer company Samuel Adams in the post as well.
“Angry Orchard if you don’t want Black People buying your product or frequenting your establishment, then maybe put a sign on the door so that we know we are not welcome. I love hard cider, but Angry Orchard will never touch these lips again,” Hamlet’s post said.
Hamlet’s post has accumulated over 5,000 shares, thousands of reactions and comments.