In response to an incident earlier this week that involved a number of black teenagers being barred from exiting an Australian Apple store after being falsely accused of stealing merchandise, company CEO Tim Cook sent a company-wide memo that took the racially-fueled motivations of the store employees to task, lambasting them for not representing Apple's core values.

The fracas, which occurred earlier in November at a shopping center in Melbourne, went viral when a recording of the event was posted on Facebook this past Tuesday. The video shows six black students from nearby Maribyrnong College being accosted by an Apple store clerk and security guard. The clerk then proceeds to tell the students, some of whom are Somalian and Sudanese immigrants, that "these [security guards] are just a bit worried about your presence in our store ... they're just worried you might steal something."

When the group asked why they would be suspected of stealing something, the Apple representative replied, "End of discussion. I need to ask you to leave our store."

Franics Ose, who uploaded the video, was one of the members of the targeted group, and subsequently on hand to videotape the incident. Underneath his post, Ose added the caption, "Simply Racism, made them apologize tho."

Khalid Breezy, Petros Smalls, Deebo Ater Abdulahi Haji Ali Mohamed, Andy Gambino  Nelson Mahad MohamudSimply Racism, made them apologise tho

Posted by Francis Ose on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

After protesting unfair treatment, the teens were then met by the store's senior manager after they returned to the scene of the dispute with their college principal.  The manager apologized for his employees' behavior, but Cook is calling for more action on the part of the company to make amends.

"While I firmly believe that this was an isolated incident rather than a symptom of a broader problem in our stores, we will use this moment as an opportunity to learn and grow," he stated in the email, which was obtained by BuzzFeed on Nov. 13. "Our store leadership teams around the world, starting in Australia, will be refreshing their training on inclusion and customer engagement."

Via: The Verge

Photo: Mike Deerkoski | Flickr

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