Giant Tiger employee suspended after video showing Indigenous customer being followed
'Quite frankly, I feel harassed,' said customer after several similar experiences in Regina store
An employee at a Giant Tiger in Regina has been suspended after an Indigenous customer recorded a cell phone video of himself being followed around a store while shopping.
Ezekial Bigknife said he shot the video after having been followed around the store on Avonhurst Drive by the same employee on numerous visits.
"Quite frankly, I feel harassed," he said on Saturday.
Bigknife said he and his wife shop at that Giant Tiger to buy groceries and diapers for their son because they live a block away.
Around the beginning of October, he said a man who works at the store began following them around.
He said he has never been accused of stealing and at one point he confronted the employee, but the surveillance continued.
"Me, I think that's personally racial profiling because I'm brown. There were plenty of other people in that store and he, every day, singles out me, to follow me and I don't know why."
On Thursday evening, Bigknife said he and his wife were in the store when they once again saw they were being followed.
This time he decided to record it.
'I just got sick of it'
"I just wanted to show people that this is what I've been going through for the several weeks, me and my wife, and I just got sick of it."
He recorded a 4:23 video of himself walking around the store shopping, with an employee dressed in plain clothes following close behind.
"Come on, we're going this way," he said several times to the employee as he walks down store aisles.
A company spokesperson said it is now investigating the matter and the employee in question, who works in loss prevention, has since been suspended.
"What occurred in the video in question is a direct contradiction of our brand values, as well as our policies and quite frankly, never should have occurred," Alison Scarlett said Saturday.
Employee shouldn't follow customer
"We do not condone following any customers through our store."
The video was posted to social media on Friday and has been shared thousands of times, with some commenters calling for a boycott of Giant Tiger.
Earlier complaint being investigated
Bigknife said he is not satisfied because he had already complained to the store management about the employee, but nothing was ever done.
Scarlett said the company will also investigate how the complaint was handled.
Bigknife said that he's been watched while in stores before and ignored it, but never has he been followed this aggressively.
"I would like to see them handle situations like that more professionally and not treat their customers like that, that are just trying to come and spend their hard-earned money and buy stuff for their kids," he said of Giant Tiger.
Earlier this year, an Indigenous elder took to social media to broadcast being kicked out of a Canadian Tire in Regina after an employee accused him of stealing.
The incident sparked a protest in front of the store and other Indigenous people coming forward with stories of being racially profiled while shopping.