A woman who brought seasoning for her food to a church in Oklahoma was accused of carrying weed and repeatedly asked to leave in a video that is being widely circulated on social media.
TikTok user @alimamii23 shared two videos of the encounter that left her in tears at Redemption United Method Church in Oklahoma City, a church she says she frequently visits with her child.
'You're Gonna Bring Drugs in Here?'
The first video starts off with a woman repeatedly telling the TikToker to leave the church.
"You have to leave now!" the woman is heard saying. "You're gonna bring drugs in here?" she asks.
The TikTok user tries to explain to the woman that what they thought was marijuana was actually cilantro and oregano for her menudo â a traditional Mexican soup that she brought to the church for her brother, an inmate attending the worship service. She tries to show them and offers to let them smell it, but they only tell her to "stop yelling."
"We've already asked you to leave," a man tells her.
Another man who identifies himself as a pastor eventually approaches the TikTok user and tells her that she's disrupting the sermon. As she tries to explain what's going on, he tries to silence her by telling her to "chill," "stop" and "pause," adding that the two of them can discuss it later.
'If You Want it Back, You Can Call the Police'
In a second video, the TikTok user films herself walking into the church kitchen, politely asking for her seasoning back. However, her request is ignored while a third person is heard saying, "If you want it back, you can call the police."
"I mean, it's food," she replies.
The first video instantly went viral, with more than 2.2 million views and hundreds of comments with users expressing their anger over the "unchristian" way the TikToker was treated.
"They know that isn't fâking weed," one Redditor wrote. "They are racist. Look at the way they dehumanize her the entire time by the way they talked to her."
"Telling you to 'chill' meanwhile they were all the ones attacking you. So sorry and you were calm the whole time," commented another.
Church Releases Statement
According to a statement posted on the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church's website on Monday, Penn Avenue Redemption Church welcomes family members of inmates as well as other visitors and guests, but the church is not allowed to let the inmates leave the church with any outside food to take back to correctional facilities.
The church's statement is as follows:
"The church, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2019, focuses on helping inmates re-enter society after prison. The church regularly transports inmates in Department of Corrections custody from certain local correctional facilities to the church for Sunday worship services. A meal is generally served after each service before the inmates are taken back to the facilities."