Protesters Target Detroit Grocery Store Accused Of Selling Rotten Meat

WWJ News
March 04, 2020 - 3:07 pm
bad meat sold in Detroit

(Photo:Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

DETROIT (WWJ) - "We don't eat rotten meat!" they chanted. 

The gist of the message wasn't too tough to interpret as Minister Malik Shabazz on Wednesday led a handful of protesters outside King Cole Foods, a grocery store on Claimount on Detroit's west side. 

"The reason we're here at King Cole's is rotten meat," he told WWJ Newsradio 950's Vickie Thomas, "and even worse than the meat is the attitude."

"Don't spend your money where you're not respected," Shabazz added, marching around with the small group. "Anyone who will sell you rotten meat, you shouldn't spend your money there." 

Store manager David, who declined to provide his last name, said point-blank that the store does not sell rotten food.

When Thomas showed him photos she snapped of some dubious steaks marked "Manager's Special,"  he responded: "Every store you go into, every grocery store they have manager's specials. There are low-incomes families that come here; they come in here for these specials." 

Replying to a tweet by Thomas including her photos, Earl Flynn @earlflynn wrote: "I went in the same store back in 2001 and you could smell and see rotten meat on those shelves. When I heard about this story I thought of the same place that you are reporting on today, back then."

Grocery options, or a lack thereof, has long been a touchy subject in Detroit, as leaders struggle to provide residents with access to fresh groceries. While two Meijer locations and a Whole Foods have opened in the city in the past decade, many in impoverished neighborhoods continue to rely on smaller corner stores for food. 

David, however, says this particular beef brouhaha is all about money.

"He wants a monthly envelope, Shabazz," he said. "He wants us to donate to his baseball team, he wants us to donate to everybody around the churches, which we do already."

Shabazz said he disputes any accusations of extortion.