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Woman seeks apology after Circle K clerk rejected her Puerto Rico ID

Posted at 9:39 AM, Feb 24, 2020

BOULDER, Colo. — A woman wants an apology from a convenience store chain after police bodycam footage shows that a store clerk in Colorado wouldn't accept her Puerto Rico ID.

On Thursday, Ruth Caraballo went to a Circle K in Boulder to get gas and cigarettes. But the clerk told her she couldn't purchase the cigarettes because there was a problem with her ID.

"I gave her my ID, and she told me she could not accept a Puerto Rican driver's license, just US IDs. I explained to her that Puerto Rico is part of the United States. A Puerto Rico driver's license is a US ID. She told me she could not accept it," Caraballo said.

Caraballo called police to help facilitate in hopes of clearing it up, and an officer, wearing a body camera, showed up to try to talk to the manager.

"Nobody can dictate what we can and cannot take. No, we don't take Puerto Rico. We take US ID, US state ID, US passport, US military ID — those are the four things Circle K takes," a store clerk told the officer, according to the body cam video.

"She actually felt it was inappropriate because Puerto Rico is actually a US territory," the officer said.

"But it's not a US issued ID though. That's the problem," the clerk said.

"Well, it's valid. I ran it," the officer said.

Caraballo said she felt the clerk was unfair toward her because she is from Puerto Rico.

"I'm American, and it feels like somebody discriminated against me because of my nationality. It makes you feel really bad," Caraballo said.

Caraballo said she tried to contact Circle K's corporate headquarters, but they have not returned her calls. She said all she wants is an apology.

"I just want them to apologize about what's going on here, and that's it," she said.

Circle K did not respond to a request for comment about the company's ID policy.

This story was originally published by Sean Towle on KMGH in Denver.