Last week, two roommates from Richmond, Virginia made a late-night run to CVS in search of some sliced cheese. Instead, they were greeted with terrified employees, and eventually the police.
According to ABC 8, Rick Berry and Philip Blackwell walked into the store on Thanksgiving evening. After being told the pharmacy did not carry cheese, Berry and Blackwell—who are black—claim the employees called the police and hid from them, leaving the store's customers without service.
"We looked around for about 30-45 minutes and we couldn't find anybody," Blackwell told ABC.
One customer, Berry told the network, had a bad tooth and was looking for medication. "All he wanted was some Orajel, but the employees disappeared and we all just became part of some weird event."
The police would eventually arrive at the CVS after being called to investigate some "suspicious activity," but the employees remained in hiding. The officers were unable to locate the workers and even began joking with Berry and Blackwell about the incident. "We were like, 'this is how weird apocalyptic movies start," Berry said.
Eventually, the officers left and the employees reappeared. According to Berry, however, the two men were asked to leave the store by the workers, and told they would be arrested for trespassing.
CVS said they were looking into the incident and were "apologetic" to Berry and Blackwell. Still, the incident is the second time in the last several months that the pharmacy chain has been in the news for alleged discrimination. Last year, the company was the focus of a lawsuit filed by four former employees who claimed that staff members in a number of New York City stores were coached to racially profile people of color.