Dad and Kids

A Virginia family arrived home from Walmart and a police officer was waiting for them. The police officer was dispatched to the home by Walmart’s security to question Joseph – a white man choosing not to reveal his surname – about kidnapping three biracial girls. Too bad the children belong to Joseph and his wife, Keana.

Keana told Fox5DC the incident began when a fellow Walmart customer thought their family “didn’t match up.” This led to the police officer showing up at their home.

“He asks us very sincerely, ‘Hey, I was sent here by Walmart security. I just need to make sure that the children that you have are your own,’” Joseph said to Fox5DC.

Both parents were outraged and surprised at the accusation.

“I was dumbfounded,” Keana explained. “I sat there for a minute and I thought, ‘Did he just ask us if these were our kids knowing what we went through to have our children?”

Keana and Joseph have been married for 10 years and are parents to a four-year-old daughter as well as two-year-old twin girls. The couple visited Walmart to cash a check and had no inkling security was watching them until the police officer arrived.

Keana called Walmart seeking an explanation. Employees told her a customer was alarmed and alerted security.

“Well, the customer was concerned because they saw the children with your husband and he didn’t think that they fit,” Keana said. “And I said, ‘What do you mean by they don’t fit?’ And I was trying to get her to say it. And she says, ‘Well, they just don’t match up.”

The Washington Post reports Virginia has the largest percentage of interracial marriages between blacks and whites, so this may not be the last of Joseph and Keana’s woes.

Walmart issued a statement, telling Fox5DC they were investigating the incident.

  • No_chaser

    Those kids could have been his adopted children for all they know.
    BUT in all honesty, they do not look like him. Someone was simply vigilant and alerted authorities in the event he was some crazed pervert. (How often does this happen???)
    As a parent I would not be outraged, especially after these recent cases of abduction that have made the headlines.

  • sixfoota

    And while they were driving to their house to question them, somebody was in the clothes section boosting up a storm!

  • Anthony

    Having kids that “don’t match” is very common. A smarter thing to look at than skin color is how the family is acting. Do they look comfortable and familiar with each other? Are they affectionate in an appropriate way?

  • No_chaser


  • mizzdionne

    This makes me mad beyond words. My younger brother and sister are mixed race and there is a strong possibility that my children will be too. I wish someone would tell me that my brother and sister “don’t fit” in with the rest of my family. In this day and age, with all of the mixed race couples around, you would think that people would use common sense!

  • JS

    I get where you are coming from but as Anthony pointed out a better way to address that would be to see how the kids behave around the adult. It is silly to base an assumption of kidnapping off of they are black and he is white so there is “NO WAY”, he could be their father, guardian, step-father, trusted family friend etc.

  • No_chaser

    I don’t get the anger. If the cops were called on him out of spite, that would be an entirely different story. Am I missing something?
    The day after the Jaycee Dugard case broke, I had a similar incident happen involving my Black child and her non-black stepdad while they waited in the car for me.
    Two crackheads, yes, crackheads actually alerted the cops from a footpost in the area. Apparently, things didnt “match” to them and they were vigilant enough to report it, God bless them.
    We all got a laugh out of it.
    Sometimes the signs aren’t there when it involves kidnap victims.Ever heard od StockholmS Syndrome?
    I’d rather the cops err on the side of caution rather than pass a situation like this off. Either way people are always gonna cry foul. Much ado about nothing. Really.

  • victoria

    I agree. And who alerted the news? Every ‘bad’ thing is not a news story.

    When my daughter was smaller, up unless about 18 months old, people assumed I was her nanny. Well, white people assumed she was all white. While black people knew different. I never got offended when the wrong assumption was made.

  • Nikki

    I actually applaud Walmart for taking the security of children seriously. They wanted to be sure the kids weren’t kidnap victims, so they checked. They didn’t accuse the man – they asked if those were his kids. I can see it. Many mixed kids don’t even looked mixed. They may look all white, or all black, and the reality is that child abuse and kidnappings are very common in the U.S.

    I’m glad Walmart respects its customers enough to care about their safety. And I’m not even a fan of Walmart, but this was a good move.

  • tina

    When it comes to the safety of children, I’ll take a – my bad, I’m sorry I reported, over I thought something wasn’t right but I didn’t say anything.

  • Starla

    Well, we can look at it in a different way. At least someone is looking out for the safety of little black girls.

  • Me. Man

    “You know something is wrong when four pretty mixed girls run into white mans arms, something is wronnngggg here, dead giveaway, dead giveaway.”

  • TT

    So are we going to check all parents and kids now? No one would raise an eyebrow at 2 black parents with kids who have the same skin tone as them but if they don’t “match” there’s a question. Black adults can kidnap black children as well. You can’t go around checking every family to see if the kids have been kidnapped or not. I agree with a previous commenter, check the behavior of the kids towards the adults. I do believe people should be vigilant and point out odd behavior but don’t just assume that a child who may have a different skin pigmentation than the adult they’re with has been kidnapped.

  • BeanBean

    Don’t match???? Are we talking about humans or clothing? They should look at how the children are interacting with the man, are they scared, do they look agitated?? But they only saw skin color and assumed…kidnapping!! Those girls look just like him, so what if the skin is darker! The mom is better than me, I would’ve gone ham on somebody in that store!

  • lol

    “When my daughter was smaller, up unless about 18 months old, people assumed I was her nanny.”

    this is what I have a problem with.

  • JS

    Are you kidding? I would have checked those people real quick had they the audacity to vocalize their ignorant assumptions of me being the nanny to my own child regardless of looks. The fact that it could have racial implications isn’t what offends me, its the ignorance of not realizing this is a multicultural society and people adopt children and have ethnically mixed kids ALL the time. I would never assume that they weren’t someone’s kids just based on looks alone.

  • u

    Now if a white man walked out of a Walmart with three black children that were not his and did something horrific to them, people all over America would be outraged at security. Isn’t it better to be over cautious? The parents are probably upset because they feel it was motivated by them being an interracial couple. It wasn’t.

  • AnnT

    But it was a black women with her white husband who walked out with three bi-racial children. They were all together…

  • binks

    Sorry but that was a dumb assumption plain and simple.

  • victoria

    Actually, no one ever asked if I was her nanny. I was frequently asked by white people if I was her mother, I ASSUMED they assumed I was her nanny. But yes, I was often asked and it never upset me b/c Im dark and she was white, not light Brown or tan, but white. But I never got upset nor felt the need to check someone for asking a question. People were always polite, never rude so I felt there was no reason for me to be rude.

  • Jules

    Good thing they were cautious. You never know with those white men.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    I agree with you. Monitoring the behavior would have been a better move than outright accusing the guy of kidnapping from the first.

  • Lala

    ‘U’ my dear need to wake up. This was all due to some racist person that probably new that this was the father and prompted the police and Walmart to get involved out of pure hatred. Why in the hell would a man that has abducted three girls go into Walmart, shop, hangout in the parking lot before leaving, and then drive off like it’s another ordinary day? If he had something to hid, he would not have been out with the girls at all – that’s being cautious!! Someone sending the police to investigate? That’s plain stupidity and I’m sorry that you feel that it was o.k. And if this was a black man with fair skinned children, he wouldn’t have even made it out to the parking lot…..Food for thought.

  • L

    I’m not surprised by this. I’ve recieved several looks when i have my little brother in a store. he’s white/mexican and adopted into our black family. People look at me like “does she know that little boy?”. We laugh it off but it’s sad. This father must have felt horrible being that these girls are his blood daughters.

  • blaque217

    I’m sorry, what year is this again??? Unless he was dragging the girls out of the store while they were kicking and screaming, there should have been nothing unusual to report.
    People need to mind their own business. SMH
    My mom, who has dark skin was with my son who is very fair skinned and someone asked her if she was babysitting…a complete stranger. And then went on to ask if my son’s father was white.
    Again, people need to mind their own freakin business! SMH

  • Nubiahbella

    I might be the only one but those kids look very much like him , skin color aside.
    They share similar features.

  • Kay

    You know, I showed this to a friend of mine just now and she laughed. She shook her head and said, “Only in America.” She was raised in Brazil and is herself “mixed.” Her father is Afro-Brazilian and her mother is Asian/Indigenous. She thought it was hilarious because in Brazil, even children of the same family can look drastically different from each other. I guess in an odd way, this only points out how we cling stringently to historically informed racial cues to advise our world view. Looking at those children, they LOOK like him. I wonder if the customer stopped to notice how they acknowledged him (called him dad or daddy? or by a first name?), if they looked scared, were they fidgeting nervously? Did anyone even look the children in the face and the dad as well or just went off skin color? I think vigilance is good. I really do. But if your world view is so insular that you only use that as an indicator of how life is, you really need to get out more.

  • Kay

    If that’s the case then most of the cops in my area will have a hell of a time! There are lots of mixed couples and children here and many of the children look completely different from their parents in terms of skin color and other characteristics. The problem with this kind of thinking is that many of the kidnapping crimes that occur often happen with people who look like you (skin color wise). This is a slippery slope. If you start looking for folks who you think “don’t match,” color wise, you miss out on all the other perverted creeps out there kidnapping people who “look,” just like them and they will get away with it because no one will question anything.

  • B

    Shame, shame, SHAME! Obviously, people are still stuck in a time warp and don’t understand that you can’t determine what a mixed kid will look like. It’s very embarassing about what happened to the family. Walmart better investigate because they owe this family an explanation.

  • Adorkable

    Wow.. Just wow.. Both sides of my family are mixed with Black, white, and native American , and we all look different. My sister and I don’t even look like siblings. I have an aunt and cousin who look Asian, a cousin who has blond hair, an aunt who is asked whether she is Asian or Hispanic and I get Indian, Caribbean, Brazilian, Ethiopian and Somalian. My children will be mixed as my husband is English and Scottish and red hair runs in his family along with bright blue eyes. I hope we don’t run into this problem when we visit the States. Ireally don’t go to Wal-Mart so we’ll see :-P

  • Tracey

    I would not be outraged unless the children were acting as if they were in distress. There are a multitude of reason that someone of a different race would be with a kid. It could be their caregiver, their relaitve who was married into the family, their adopted parent, etc. I often watch out for odd behavior from kids in random settings but I would not call security just because they “don’t match”.

  • Tracey

    I do. how would you even go about proving somethign like this? Are we all supposed to carry around birth ceritficate sand SSN cards or keep their hospital bracelets on until they are old enough to claim us? it makes no sense because not every kid “matches” their parents even when they are the same race. It would be a waste of the cops’ time and tax payer dollars checking out every kid with an adult that doesn’t look like their twin. It just gets to be silly after a while.
    I mean look at the Duggard case. She matched those people so no one would have batted an eye at her walking down the street with her kidnapper.

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