As officers approached 28 year old Ro Lockett while shopping last week, he said he handed his phone to his 10-year-old.
“I told him record everything,” said Lockett. “Don't be scared, don't stop recording until I tell you to.”
He said officers told Lockett and his friend, Brandon Kibart, to drop their shopping bags and put their hands behind their backs so they could be handcuffed.
In the video that Lockett posted online, Lockett and Kibart stand next to officers and watch as a Finish Line employee searches through the shopping bags at their feet.
But Frisco Police said the men didn’t have any stolen property.
“Everyone that was around us had their phones out, taking videos, taking pictures, I didn’t sign up for that,” said Kibart. “We were not stealing, we were not there to try to be targeted.”
“We asked 'What are you accusing us of? Stealing?' and she tells us, ‘I had some Champion hoodies that were there when you were there and when you left they were gone,” said Lockett of an exchange with a Finish Line employee who he said followed him out of the Finish Line store to other stops in the mall.
“We had kids with us. We already had bags. You followed us and saw us go into other stores and purchase items,” said Lockett. “What made you think it was us? That really is the question.”
In a statement to NBC 5, Frisco Police said it is reviewing the incident. The statement also addresses why a retail employee was searching the men’s bags.
Frisco Police write, “It is not uncommon for people who commit theft to place stolen property in bags from other stores. Since the employee thought a theft had occurred, they would have been attempting to recover their merchandise under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 18.16, Preventing Consequences of Theft.”
The video posted online shows officers removing the handcuffs and letting both men go.
Near the end of the video, Lockett points to the officers and says, “These guys were great. It wasn’t their fault.”
He and Kibart said they planned to meet with Frisco Police on Tuesday.
Lockett said he believes the Finish Line employee unfairly profiled him and his friend. Lockett is black. Kibart is white.
“I believe it was racism, half racism and half prejudice,” said Lockett. “A black guy with a white guy who has a beard, he has a gold chain on, he's wearing flip flops.”
Lockett and Kibart have hired a lawyer and said they should have been asked to step into a security office, rather than endure a public search in front of other shoppers and Lockett’s children.
Their attorney, Haben Tewelde, said other steps could have been taken to prevent an intrusive search.
“In this situation, I don’t see what my clients did to deserve this and it shouldn’t happen,” said Tewelde. “It should not be happening to any American.”
An employee who answered the phone at the Finish Line store in Stonebriar Centre referred NBC 5 to its corporate office. Through multiple emails and phone calls Sunday and Monday, NBC 5 tried to learn more about what happened from Finish Line.
As of Monday evening, Finish Line has not responded to the requests for additional information.
It’s not clear if the store has surveillance cameras. Frisco Police said it was also trying to reach the corporate office to follow up.