A schoolboy hit and bruised by a Sainsbury's security guard believes he was targeted because he's black.
The supermarket said it was investigating after a video filmed inside the South London store was shared widely on social media.
Taharka Campbell, 12, and another boy went into the shop at Elephant and Castle to buy food.
Security guards accused one of the boys of putting items in his bag and trying to leave the store without paying.
Taharka said he did not steal anything and tried to explain to the security guard.
Footage shared online shows Taharka being approached by a guard in a hi vis top. The schoolboy can be heard pleading his innocence saying “I didn’t do anything”.
Moments later the security guard is seen hitting Taharka.
Taharka told ITV News London the incident made him feel “scared, to go around places” and he missed two days of school.
Taharka’s sister, Chioma Smith, believes her younger brother was racially profiled.
'He’s a young boy'
“My brother is quite tall for his age but you can still see in his face he’s a young boy,” said Chioma.
“It’s a sense of they feel all young black boys are a certain aspect in life - they feel like we’ve all grown up in a bad environment, poor without education.
“He goes to school, every child has his slip ups once in a while but what’s right is right, what’s wrong is wrong and I feel like this situation is completely wrong,” she added.
Chioma said she had been sent racist messages on social media since sharing the footage.
She added some of the messages wrongly accused her brother of being in a gang.
Witness Juanita Phillips said she started recording the video after seeing a confrontation between the boys and security guards.
She said she received racist abuse after sharing the videos, adding: “I been so distressed over it, all the abuse I’ve been getting.”
In a statement, Mitie which provides security at the Sainsbury’s store said: “The video circulating on social media does not capture the whole incident. Earlier CCTV shows two youths enter the store, one of them places goods in his bag and they attempt to leave without paying. The security officers asked the youths to return the items and an altercation took place where our officer was physically assaulted and verbally threatened. Police attended the scene and we are conducting an internal investigation.”
Sainsbury’s said it was also investigating what happened. Police are also aware.
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