John Henson alleges his recent trip to a Milwaukee-area jewelry store did not go well.
Jerome Miron/Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
John Henson is a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. He’s 6-foot-11. When he’s out and about, people notice. And according to Henson, a trip to do some shopping in a Milwaukee suburb ended abruptly with a police presence.
On Monday, Henson posted a photo to his Instagram account of a storefront that he claims houses a business that discriminated against him when he pulled up to shop for a watch.
Instead of being greeted by sales staff, Henson says the employees hid as if he were a would-be burglar, and that he got to chat with police as a result. Henson says the store went into lockdown when he arrived, and that even after explaining why the vehicle he was driving was badged as a dealer vehicle, he overheard police considering investigating further:
With respect to Henson’s interaction with police and his vehicle referenced in the Instagram post, Whitefish Bay Police issued a two-page statement detailing the department’s recent interactions with the store and the officers’ encounter with Henson.
It said the department had advised the store to call police if a Red Chevrolet Tahoe like Henson’s arrived there after one parked outside the store days earlier raised suspicions that its plates were stolen. It also said the store had previously been robbed and on Friday had closed down early after repeated suspicious calls about its closing time.
The officers were dispatched to the store Monday afternoon "as the Red Tahoe had returned," the statement said. The officers talked to Henson, including questioning him about the dealer plates on his Tahoe, then requested that the employees open the door, according to the statement.
The officers who questioned Henson never asked for his ID and left the area after the store reopened, according to the statement.
The Bucks released a statement Monday afternoon calling the incident "very troubling."
"Nobody should be treated that way. We are trying to contact the store directly," the statement said.
Tom Dixon, the store owner, told WISN12 news Monday night that the misunderstanding was over the car, not Henson. The store has apparently experienced three armed robberies in the past year and a half, and one of the vehicles involved in that spree is from the same dealership as Henson’s vehicle. When employees saw the vehicle with dealer plates, Dixon said, they became suspicious.
Henson is not new to Milwaukee. The North Carolina product has played in at least 63 games for the Bucks each of the past three seasons. He has averaged 8.1 points and 5.5 rebounds in 200 career games.
The jeweler — Schwanke-Kasten — appears to have a Twitter account that was recently made private. After the incident, the store looked to have removed jewelry from their display cases:
Jewelry removed from the WFB SchwankeKasten store after John Henson from Bucks claims he was mistreated. pic.twitter.com/XzRw23fEWz