Poconos Resort was on fire after a video of a black guest mistakenly accused of shoplifting went viral


Poconos ski resorts have raised racism and discrimination claims after a video of five black guests falsely accused of shoplifting went viral over the weekend.

In a video posted on TikTok, one of the women said, “We had a lot of fun. We had a great time.” She said, “It was the first time we were finished and legally leaving when we stopped and were racially profiled.”

Police at Pocono Township asked women outside the Camelback Mountain ski shop about alleged theft that afternoon. The suspected shoplifter is a black man who opened a store at about the same time as the female group.

“I heard them say,’If you return the goods, you won’t be arrested,'” the woman said. Video posted on TikTok..

She thought it was a joke, so her friends started laughing, she said. It wasn’t. The group showed police officers a receipt for the gloves and goggles they had purchased, and said police demanded the name of the man who shoplifted instead.

Blacks leaving the store at the same time don’t know each other, she told executives. Others were out of the store at about the same time as their group, the woman said. People who weren’t black.

“‘Did you ask them if they knew the man?'” She said she asked the police. “They said no.”

She called the officers racists, and then she said they laughed: “‘Don’t pull the race card.'”

“We were scared,” said the woman. “I thought we were really arrested.”

The cross-examination ended after it became clear that none of the women had stolen anything and did not know the name of the thief.

Kit Papas, Managing Director and Vice President of Camelback Resort, said: “I would like to emphasize that Camelback Resort does not tolerate any kind of prejudice and has a clear non-prejudice policy regarding discrimination and harassment.”

The statement was posted to all Camelback social media accounts on Tuesday, with a comment section for each disabled person.

Papas confirmed that an employee of Camelback’s security team had called the police.

“Based on our research, we have determined that Camelback employees have acted appropriately,” he wrote in an email. “As soon as it became clear that a shoplifting incident had occurred, they handed over the matter to the Pocono Township Police.”

Police checked the security footage and said he approached the woman on his own initiative. He added that the resort is reviewing its diversity, equity and inclusive training for improvement opportunities.

Still, users accessed the comments section of a previous Camelback post, blaming the case and requesting the resort to formally apologize. According to Papas, the resort contacted the female on TikTok, but she refused to talk to them.

Pocono Township Police have not issued a statement regarding the incident. Police chief Kent Werkheiser did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Pocono Township police officers faced another incident surveillance at Camelback’s Aquatopia Indoor Water Park in 2020. According to an investigation by the District Attorney’s Office in Monroe County, the footage of the arrested cell phone raised concerns about excessive force. No excessive force was used.

Hannah Phillips is a public security correspondent for Pocono Record. Contact her at [email protected]

This article was originally published in Pocono Record: TikTok: Police mistakenly blame shoplifting black guests at PA resorts