In New Jersey police have arrested the 16-year-old boy who used a public-address system in a Turnersville Wal-Mart store to tell “all the black people” to leave.
At a noon press conference Saturday outside the Washington Township Police Department, Police Chief Rafael Muniz and Prosecutor Sean Dalton declined to identify the boy, but said he was from Atlantic County, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
He faces up to a year in a juvenile detention center if convicted on charges of harassment and bias. Police say they scoured Facebook and other online postings for comments about the incident and found instances of “kids bragging,” notes the New York Times.
They also had store images of the youth and two others near the phone in question before the announcement and rushing from the store afterward. Anonymous tips also helped with the arrest.
Last Sunday at around 7 p.m., someone at the Wal-Mart announced “Attention, Wal-Mart shoppers: Will all the black people please leave the store. Thank you.”
Witnesses said store officials took about 5 minutes before announcing that the statement was a prank and apologizing.