Store security

Hello, John Sholl

I am an NRA member and I’m in the jewelry trade.

I currently receive the magazine “America’s First Freedom”. A regular
feature of the magazine is press clippings from all over that
illustrate the suppression of a possible crime by a law-abiding
citizen willing to show a superior amount of force to his criminal
aggressor, and God forbid, use that superior force.

I am quite sure that other magazines in the NRA sphere, including
American Rifleman, do similar citizens’ self defense stories.

Don’t neglect to peruse Ted Nugent’s thoughts on the subject,
either. The book is God, Guns, and Rock N Roll.

Just remember, you are the good and decent man in a sometimes bad,
indecent world. Hedge your bets, and love your fellow man, until,
beyond a reasonable doubt, they are unloveable.

Dan Woodard, Indian Jewelers Supply co.

I agree with the people who don’t use guns. I couldn’t take a life.
My son carried agun in his glove compartment, until he stopped to
help a youn “lady” with car trouble, late one night. He offered to
give "her " a lift to a gas station and HE pulled a knife on my son,
who managed to hold him off & get his gun. he shot the man in the
leg. The pokice cace and arrestrd my son for using excessive force.
What good was the gun? Stay away from them, use the outsid and inside
cameras, or an phone arrangemet. There isn’t a gem or a piece of
jewelry worth my, my cutomers or even the theif’s life.Guns are for
Hunting food, not people. Just passing thru

Sounds to me like your son saved himself from serious injury or death
through use of his gun. It is true that you will probably be arrested
after using a gun in self defense and although you will probably not
be formally charged you will almost certainly be sued. Is it better
to leave your fate to the whim of the attacker or to use your weapon
in self defense? You decide. It’s been mentioned in this thread
before, but bears reemphasis; If you’re going to depend on a firearm,
part of your training should include reading “In Gravest
Extreme” by Massad Ayoob. Jerry in Kodiak

This news item just came to my attention.

I know security is always an issue, especially in this business, but
then there are bigger issues as well.

I wonder if anyone in the Orchid community has any comments, or even
better, creative ways to avoid this kind of occurrence. In my mind
the risk of monetary loss is far outweighed by the personal hurt to
the individual involved and the wider effects of such behaviour
throughout our society. Prudent caution can easily blur into
paranoia, racism, and ever more intense feelings of mistrust. Where
does that get us? Noting that this shop had been robbed previously
by a white man, I wonder why was the door locked to a black man?
People really do have to confront their own assumptions and
prejudices, not passively let their lives be run by them and hurt
others in the process.

Incidentally, if any sort of shop-owner behaved like this in my
neighbourhood I would retaliate (economically), perhaps organizing a
boycott or a picket line out front would inspire the shop owner to
behave decently.

Another day, another incident of racial profiling. Except, this
time, the person profiled happens to be NBA player John Henson, and
he’s not letting the profiler get away with it.

This particular incident occurred over the past several days in
Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin - a over 90% white, wealthy northern suburb
of Milwaukee.

Here is the personal story from Henson’s Instagram account:

Text caption (formatted for easier reading):

@johnhenson31: Went to @schwankekasten jewelry today in
White-Fish Bay during regular business hours. They locked the
door and told me to go away. After I rang the doorbell twice
everyone went to the back. No answered the door or told me what
was going on. This was followed by two police cars pulling up
and parking across the street and watching me for 5 minutes (I
assumed they were called by the store). 

I was then approached by 2 officers and questioned about the
dealer vehicle I was in which is apart of my endorsement deal
with Kunes country Chevrolet and asked me what I wanted amongst
other things that were just irrelevant to me being there just
trying to shop at the store like a normal paying customer would
do. I told them I was just trying to look at a watch. 

He then had to go in the back and tell them to come out it was
safe but this is after they ran my plates and I overheard them
talking about doing more of a background check on the car. The
employees finally came out of the back and proceeded to conduct
business like they previously were as we walked up. 

This was one of the the most degrading and racially prejudice
things I've ever experienced in life and wouldn't wish this on
anyone. This store needs to be called out and that's what I'm
doing. You have no right to profile someone because of their
race and nationality and this incident needs to be brought to
light and I urge anyone who ever is thinking of shopping here
reads this and doesn't bring any business to this discriminatory

A recap of the story is described here (summarized from the
Reddit /r/NBA sub-reddit): 

Thursday, Oct 15th: Person calls store between 2PM and 3PM and
inquires about closing times. Closing time is 5.30PM 

Friday, Oct 16th: Person (not known if same person as day
before) calls about closing times. Clerks decide to close at 5PM
because of suspicious calls. Police camp outside from 3.57PM. At
4.58PM Henson + entourage of 3 arrive, store is closed, lights
turned off, discussion with clerk (assuming something along the
lines of "You said you were open til 5.30PM over the phone?").
Henson+3 drive off. 

Officers check Henson's plates. Dealer plates. "Might be stolen,
but not reported stolen." Tells this to store, lets them know to
inform the police if car returns. 

Sunday, Oct 18th: Store owner tells police a jewelry store in
Green Bay got robbed by hooded white man, gives surveillance
footage. (Store owner's store was robbed once 2 years ago)
Robbery committed by a white male. 

Monday, Oct 19th: Police arrives at store at 1.20PM. Henson+1
are outside, and the store won't let them in. Locked. Police
gets informed he's a Buck, and that Bucks get cars from
dealership. Police calls store to get them to open up front.
Store wants police to come out back. Police goes out back and
informs store that person is a Milwaukee Buck. Store re-opens,
but wants police to stand-by as Henson+1 shop. Police refuses
and leave the store and area. 

TL;DR - store was worried about suspicious activity and called
police, but even when police told store person is an NBA player,
store still wanted police for safety. 

John Henson is a multi-millionaire. To this date, he has earned
over $5 million in salary, and he will earn $2.9 million this
season. Also, just weeks ago he signed a contract extensionthat
will pay him a guaranteed $44 million! 

Class and wealth does not and will not shield people of color
from racism and profiling. We see this time and time again. To
anyone reading this that says #AllLivesMatter, I ask this: Do
#AllLives deal with incidents like this? If a white NBA player
was browsing the outside windows of the store, would the store
close shop early? 

I must say, however, credit the police for not bowing to the
requests of the store. They figured out why the store was
paranoid and explained the situation, and when asked to stay
around even after told Henson was a perfectly fine potential
customer, the police force basically told the store to fuck off.
Broken clocks and all. 

But yeah, just another day in "post-racial" America... 


I am a person of color, and I grew up in the Southern US. At least
once a year, I run into this kind of thing. When I was younger, it
used to tick me off, and I’d get so angry that I would walk away with
the shakes. As I’ve gotten older I have a rule: If I go to a business
and get no attention from the service, after a reasonable length of
time, I verbally, but at a conversational tone, count down from 30.
If I hit zero; in the same tone I simply state: “You have lost any
chance to do business with me, forever”. Then I walk away, and tell
anyone that mentions that establishment that I don’t do business
there, and why. I do much the same if I feel profiled like the person
in the article.

I rarely window shop. If I walk into a business, especially
something like a Jeweler, I know what I want, and will have the means
to purchase it.

A bit over 15 years ago Tim and I were working in a fancy jewelry
store that was across the street from a rival fine jewelry store. It
was Xmas Eve afternoon when the Portland Trailblazers rolled into
town from working on the road. They only had a couple of hours to
shop. So a hand full of them went into the rival store and were given
the cold shoulder. They came across the street to us. We treated them
like royalty. Each of the guys walked out of there not with just a
couple of little jewelry size bags, but each had a giant shopping bag
in each hand with the store logo on them.

Even though it was a half block out of their way they decided to
stroll past the rival store and wave their bags at them. We laughed
or asses off as we watched them parade by the other store. I mean
come on folks. These guys were 7 feet tall and dressed in bespoke

This was not the first time we have heard from famous sports figures
about getting dissed in fine jewelry stores because of color.

Right before Tim and I got married we went shopping for a wedding
suit for him. We had a nice roll of cash to spend. We also both had
full body tattoos. We were snubbed and insulted by a rude sales man
at Nortstrom. So we left and went and spent our money else where. The
next day I requested an appointment with the store manager. When I
introduced myself explained who we were and told her what happened
she was horrified. She knew of us and our work by reputation. At the
same time I told her the previous story about another incident
involving the wife of a famous ball player. She was referred to as
“Some 16 year old black chick with a baby and a giant CZ ring.” by a
mall store manager. We cleaned up on that one too.

Remember folks that you cannot judge a book by it’s cover. I know
because my late father was a book cover illustrator. He painted some
really beautiful covers for some pretty awful books.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry and don’t be a judgemental jerk.
You may miss a really big sale.

Jo Haemer

Well said. I had a wonderful experience with a customer who appeared
at my booth years ago in a wheelchair, with a speech difficulty. She
clearly liked my work and I took the time to pick up anything she
indicated she liked with a nod of her head, put it on her, hold up a
mirror. After a little while, a young lady came to the booth, (her
daughter). She had been observing our interaction and purchased
several items for her mother and for herself. It was a healthy sale.
Mom had recently had a stroke and was starting to get out in the
public. Mom and daughter show up every year at my booth and make a
purchase. And mom is now talking and using a walker. I have had the
privilege of seeing her progress from the stroke.

You never know where your next loyal customer is coming from. Barbara
in Texas where it is finally raining.

First I want to say how pleased I am about the direction of this

When i read it yesterday I had very mixed feelings. Glad this is not
turning into a political statement but rather being addressed as a
sales issue.

Yes we make snap opinions about people based on what we see. It’s
human nature. But how we deal with this opinions is what marks us.
I’m not ideally shaped. I look more like the great white whale since
I’m also glow in the dark white. Even my hair is full blown white. I
like comfortable clothes, which to me means most times well worn
jeans, and an over sized t-shirt. In my younger days, I dressed
nicer. Going back about 35 years, I was shopping for a special
limited edition Christmas ornament at a rather high end store at
South Coast Plaza mall in Costa Mesa CA. I had on a nice dress, and
good shoes. I had forgotten to put my wedding ring on after doing
dishes, but other than that I was nothing out of the ordinary. It was
not one but two different store employees that followed me around
while I checked out their things. It was bothering me that two had to
follow me. When I got to the place the ornaments were on display, I
turned to one of the followers and asked for help. She looked at me
funny, then went and got one of the people who had been actively
helping others with sales. The second follower stayed near me. When
the sales person came over, I told them what i wanted, and started to
open my purse so i could pull out my wallet. The follower grabbed my
arm and held me. I was under suspicion of shop lifting. After a very
uncomfortable time spent in their office while the police were
called, I was found not to have shop lifted. The store manager
apologized. I asked her why? She said so the police could hear it,
that I looked like someone who would be shoplifting since i did not
look like their normal customer. She offered to give me a discount
on the ornament. I was so pissed I told her off, and said i would let
all my friends know what had happened. I drove up to LA to get my
ornament. 2 years later the store closed.

No matter who we are, someplace out there we are all going to be
judged on what we look like. Hopefully we will be judged for more
than our cover.

Aggie the great white…


It was really frightening to read what happened to you. I guess we
all are judged by what we wear which phone we carry & what clothes we
wear which car we drive.

Very sad. Could you not sue them for this humiliating treatment.


This thread is very interesting to me as a vendor for many years at
craft shows. I sold paintings and jewelry, nothing over $500. In all
those years, I found that the customer who was most casually dressed
was the most likely to buy, and the least likely to question the

In fact, an long-time friend (wealthy) told me that her rich friends
told her she should always try to bargain the price down. I assured
her that my prices were fair, and that there was no need to bargain.
(She did buy the item at my price, and I hope she never believed
those rich friends again.)

Hi, I too have a “story” about judging a “book by it’s cover”.

My Mother, when she was alive, was a Real Estate Broker in a small
town near Los Gatos, Ca.

A man and his wife were out riding their horses and decided to stop
and check out the home my Mother was showing.

The Real Estate person working with her, turned up their nose
because the people smelled like horses and were dressed in jeans and
tee shirts.

My Mother, approached them as they were leaving and asked if she
could show them the home and gave her ideas how she would furnish the
home and what she would decorate it and the couple were very please
with her attention, The man pulled out his checkbook and wrote a
check for the home right there, He was getting married the next week
and he is a Doctor and his soon to be wife is a Doctor too.

My Mother was forced to share her commission with the other person
who turned the couple down because they smelled like horses.

Veva Bailey

I love the smell of horses.

Barbara H. north of San Francisco

I think we might have confused some issues here? One is making a
judgement call on how a potential customer looks, and two, whether
that someone is a threat.

It is pretty easy to couch quarterback the original story about the
store that was trying to prevent a robbery and instead is accused of
being insensitive about the color of the mans skin. We all have
stories of customers that were different than we expected, both good
and bad. It seems to me that the store, while wrong in its decision
in this instance, was not behaving with malice. Jewelers of America,
in their robbery avoidance literature, mentions some of the very same
procedures that this store appears to have employed. I don’t think it
helps to jump on the band wagon and just hate this store for being
racist, as I am suspicious there may be more to the story.

I recently went into a carniceria/market where only Spanish was
being spoken. I couldn’t find what I was looking and when I asked for
help, I was ignored. I left without buying anything. Should I sue
them? No. I simply take my business elsewhere.

Treating all customers with respect at all times is simply being
professional. I think we should all aim for that.

Profiling a customer can be damaging to your business, but folks, it
is not a crime.


I too have a "story" about judging a 'book by it's
cover'.........My Mother was forced to share her commission with
the other person who turned the couple down because they smelled
like horses.

When I was in college, I got to fox hunt and compete at hunter
trials with a hunt that Jackie Onassis was a member of. I remember
seeing her on her horse " both she and the horse impeccably turned
out " and thinking, “I bet she smells like horses just like the rest
of us.” And I’m sure she did. So remember, if the arguably classiest
woman ever to have lived can smell like a horse, then a great
potential client might look and smell funny too.

And I smell like a horse all the time! El

I worked with a guy who caught a lawyers wife who had a pocket sewn
into the front of her full length fur to pocket stuff. She was bored
and this passed the time. So being “poorly dressed” means nothing.

Every time someone came into the store where I worked and asked for
silver chains, all of the staff remembered they had something that
needed doing inthe back and stuck them with me. I do not know how
many $8 sales later became good customers later that spent

Gerald A. Livings Livingston Jewelers

So remember, if the arguably classiest woman ever to have lived can
smell like a horse, then a great potential client might look and
smell funny too. 

And worth noting that these days, at least for most folks who live
somewhere near an urban area, having the land or affording to rent
the space, as well as the other living requirements of owning a horse
(not quite the cheapest hobby ever, after all), should suggest that
anyone who smells like horses probably isn’t a pauper (unless horse
ownership, like a boat or an airplane ownership, has soaked up all
excess funds…)

My daughter’s school fellows continually used to say to her that we
must be rich because we had horses. She always (correctly!) told them
that we might well be rich if we DIDN’T have horses. they can be a
bottomless pit in many ways, but we chose to have and enjoy them and
not fancy holidays, swanky cars, huge TVs and expensive clothes: nor
did we eat out or smoke. You pays your money and you takes your
choice !


A few days ago I posted an article about a disturbing incident. Here
is a brief recap of that incident from another source;

""Last week, Milwaukee Bucks center John Henson took to social
media to describe an incident of racial profiling he experienced
at a local jewelry store. When Henson approached the store,
intending to buy a new watch, the employees locked the door and
called 911. In an Instagram post, Henson called the incident
"one of the the most degrading and racially prejudice [sic]
things I've ever experienced in life." The humiliation that
Henson suffered at the jewelry store is a routine occurrence for
people of colour." 

Now I know that jewelry stores are not the only businesses where
security is an issue, and I’m not under the impression that
jewellers are more likely than others to do racial or ethnic
profiling. But I was interested in hearing some comments which might
help me understand the behaviour of staff and the store policy.

I must say that I was surprised and disappointed by the comments
which have come in. Taken as a whole they seemed to indicate a
consensus that the worst that can be said about this store’s policy
is that they were laughably foolish to turn away what might have
been a good sale. Really? is that it? What had my attention,
however, was that they were content to inflict a very hurtful
experience upon another human being. I wondered how I would feel if
i were an employee of that business if my boss told me to lock the
door in the face of a person because of his colour. Does my boss
have the right to ask me to humiliate another human being? Does my
boss have the right to ask me to behave like a racist?

I tried to understand or imagine the rationale that might have been
in the minds of the management. “That guy looking in the window
looks kind of shifty” they might have thought. But ask yourself, how
would you look when approaching a venue where, as noted above, this
kind of humiliation has been a routine experience for you? I doubt
that you would project a sense of ease and pleasant anticipation. In
other words, this kind of behaviour towards the public actually
creates the tension and paranoia which poisons the lives of people
on either side of the door.

The near-perfect avoidance of the central questions raised by this
incident indicates to me that this racism makes folks uncomfortable.
They dropped it like a hot potato. Instead they’d rather chuckle
over how the customer took his money elsewhere. But he also took his
humiliation, anger, or resentment elsewhere. How long will those
feelings last? Where will those feelings surface? They are like acid
flowing in his veins and into all his other relationships We do have
an obligation, I think, to behave decently towards others, and not
simply because we want to get their money.

I would not work in that business unless I were frankly comfortable
being an out-and-out racist. I would, if I were in their
neighbourhood, make an issue of their behaviour, perhaps by direct
conversation with management, perhaps by organizing a boycott if
management felt they had the right to refuse service on the basis of
colour, perhaps by standing outside with a sign alerting the public
to their attitudes. I’ll leave it there and welcome further comment.

Ironically, until someone generally has an awful experience where
they sre judged solely on a perception based on a physical
appearance…they dont get it. Being treated like you are less
than someone else who feelsthat they are better is what anti
discrimination laws were invented to prevent or correct.

Sometimes you are treated unfairly because you are young

Sometimes its because of your wardrobe

Sometimes its because of your wheels or blaring sound system

Sometimes its becauseof your skin color or sex

Sometimes its because someone made up a story that wasnt factual.
Remember how you frlt as a kid when a sibling told your parents the
"you did it" to escape responsibility? Its the same thing to treat a
stranger shabbily. The outrage is personal…

I have been treated far nicer than other friends whose skin is
darker because of being a blonde and blue eyed female. But I know
I’ve been just lucky.

Customer service tainted with a suoerior attitude certainly come
back to bite a person or business. Your perspective and comments are
spot on.

The gentleman in Milwaukee knew that the store personal treated him
shabbily and behaved like jerks or racists.

I tryto remember that until someone has shown behaviour to earn my
contenpt, distrust or worse… appearance really means nothing.
The person you percieve as less could just as easily be the person
who could in the next instance administer first aid and savee your
life. Treating anyone you dont know shabbily without cause can be at
your personal peril. Imagine treating someome like dirt and the next
moment having a heart attack and needingCPR. Imagine them stepping
around you and leaving you to suffer alone and maybe die as the
result of your inhumanity.

You think “how could they do that?”. They were just a mirror of
yourself. They paid it forward. They might have deprived you of the
chance to be cruel and hurtful again. The one thing that you can be
sure of is that people will talk about the behaviour, justifying and
condemning. Social media and cell phonevideos are the instant
arbritator of modern morals.

I have in sevetal instances personally quit jobs because of my
employers policies and behaviour. Life is way too short to make
money for jerks or the sell your soul for money.

Money doesn’t make us better people, it makes us more the way we
are. Making and selling jewelry and gemstones has its ownset of
perceptions that outsiders can make about us. A reasonable amount of
care should be taken for security, but I’d worry more about 4 guys
in a group entering a store than a single guy.

Color doesn’t matter that much anymore.

I use the collective you and yourself pronouns to make itclose to a
personal experience. You wear the other persons shoes andits
eyeopenning and life changing.

Eileen in LA

The store where this took place is an old money, very high end store
that has catered to Milwaukee’s upper crust over generations. They
run a very well respected business. Sort of a store from another
time, established in a way that most of their competitors aren’t.
This incident is a nightmare for them. A public relations mistake
that they may never fully recover from. Fear andignorance caused the
sales people to hide and panic. That wasn’t the ownerspolicy, just
humans making the wrong choice as we often do. It was bad for
everyone involved. The only good thing is that because the incident
is so well publicized it will likely reoccur slightly less often.

But that doesn’t mean people we will less afraid of each other and
they willstill deal with that fear in questionable ways. Like I know
of a retail jeweler who when nervous about a customer would lay his
shotgun on the counter before asking if he could help them. He felt
that sent the appropriate message.

People are people, often stupid and afraid. There’s no fixing that.