Police Arrest 16-Year-Old in Wal-Mart Race Incident

Online 'bragging' helped the case
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2010 3:33 PM CDT
Shelia Ellington talks with Ronald Tinsley and Tracy Jenkins as they meet Wednesday near the Wal-Mart store in Washington Township, N.J.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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(Newser) – New Jersey police have arrested a 16-year-old boy and charged him with using a public-address system in a Wal-Mart store to ask "all the black people" to leave, 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 helped seal the arrest. The teen allegedly picked up the phone and said something along the lines of, "Attention, Wal-Mart shoppers: Will all the black people please leave the store. Thank you."

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