According to the New York Post, protesters have planned a demonstration at a Pennsylvania police department after a video surfaced online showing police arresting a Black man inside a Walmart after he paid for a bike. 37-year-old Stanley Gracius was arrested, tazed, and hog-tied by two police officers inside the Wyomissing Walmart on Monday. Despite asking repeatedly why he was being taken into custody, he was told to stop resisting.
The manager of the store called police and said Gracius was riding the bike in the store, and playing loud music, the Reading Eagle reported. By the time the police arrived, he had just paid for the bike. "I didn’t do nothing wrong. Why are you arresting me?" Gracius can be heard saying in the video. "I paid. Everybody saw that, right? I have a receipt. So why are the cops doing this to me? What did I do wrong? Somebody, please tell me what I did wrong.”
Police have claimed that Gracius continued to resist arrest when outside the store, alleging that he attempted to take a Taser from one of the officers. He was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, trespassing, and disorderly conduct. Even though the local police department has faced intense scrutiny for the incident, local prosecutors argued that the officers did not act inappropriately.
"The defendant was detained by the Wyomissing Police and at all times during the encounter, the Wyomissing Police showed restraint, acted professionally and did a good job deescalating the situation with the defendant, Stanley Gracius," the district attorney's office wrote this week. "Mr. Gracius did not in any manner abide by the requests of not only the store manager of Walmart, but also the requests of the officers themselves.”
His friend who posted the video on Facebook on Tuesday said that Gracius had been racially profiled by the Walmart. He went on to say that Gracius had been asking others in the store how they were, rode the bike to the cash register, and was initially told by police he was free to go. Upon being told he was free to go, he allegedly told the officers to have a nice day and they grabbed his wrist to initiate the arrest.