African-American Woman Sues Target for Forcing Her to Remove Her Clothes to Prove She Didn’t Steal a Swimsuit
A Southfield, Mich. woman has filed a lawsuit against Target for allegedly making her strip down to show that she didn’t steal a bathing suit.
The incident occurred on May 22 when Ashanae Davis was shopping at the retailer. A loss prevention officer, an African-American male, allegedly grabbed her arm as she was walking out of the store and accused her of shoplifting. Davis was then escorted to the loss prevention office and two male employees told her to remove her clothes prove that she wasn’t wearing a bikini underneath.
“To obtain her freedom, she then has to pull up her shirt with two male employees at Target to prove she hasn’t stolen a bikini top, and then she has to pull down her pants to prove she hasn’t stolen a bikini bottom. And only then would they let her leave Target,” her attorney Jasmine Rand said.
Davis’ attorneys Rand and Maurice Davis said that no bathing was found under her clothes.
Davis said she was scared during the incident. “I had never had anything close or near like that happen to me. Two men that I never met before, never seen before. So I was very scared and sad,” she said.
Rand believes Davis was treated the way she was because of the color of her skin. “I would be very surprised if this has ever happened to a white woman at that Target location,” she said.
Rand also mentioned that racial discrimination usually in’t obvious.
“People are trained not to say the N-word,” she explained. “They’re trained not to use racial slurs so that they can blame it on something else.”
Target provided a written statement about the incident: “We want everyone who shops at Target to feel welcomed and respected and take any allegations of mistreatment seriously. We’re sorry for the actions of our former team member, who created an experience we don’t want any guest to have at Target. Upon reviewing our team’s actions, we terminated the team member who was directly involved and are addressing the situation with the security team at the store.”
This isn’t the first time a national retailer has been accused of racial discrimination. In January, a California filed a lawsuit against Walmart for keeping African-American personal care products locked up in a glass case.
Essie Grundy said she felt discriminated against when she has to ask an employee to unlock the beauty supplies on three separate occasions in one month.
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