A black woman, Jovita Jones Cage, was racially profiled at a Victoria’s Secret store in Collierville, Tennessee, on June 4.
Cage told WREG that she bought a bra, but the Victoria’s Secret employee forgot to take the sensor off, so she took it back to the store with a receipt:
She got the receipts out and was able to find the right one and remove the sensor. I told her she could keep the bag there, because I was going to go shopping around the store.
When Cage went to try some other clothing on, she was stopped by a police officer in the store.
The police officer walked straight up to me and slapped handcuffs on me.
[The officer told me] to put both of my hands behind my back, because I was under arrest for shoplifting.
Cage said the store manager called the police without speaking to her:
I think it was for the simple fact that I was black. I don’t know if one of the parents of the kids I tutor could’ve been there. I don’t know if one of my old professors could’ve been in there.
Cage recalled the cop searched her bag, determined that she was not shoplifting and told her she was banned from the store:
At this point, I’m traumatized and crying.
Cage made a complaint with the Victoria’s Secret corporate office, which apologized and offered a $100 gift card, which Cage rejected.
Victoria’s Secret released a statement:
We are sincerely sorry for the experience Ms. Jones Cage had in our store. Bottom line, we made a mistake, and we do not tolerate this behavior. Our head of stores has been trying to reach Ms. Jones Cage to personally apologize for her experience. Victoria’s Secret is adamant that all customers be treated with dignity and respect.
We have investigated the matter, and the associate involved is no longer employed with our brand. In addition, we are meeting with every associate in the store to reinforce our values and policies. We are committed to delivering an excellent shopping experience to every customer, every time … we have work to do – and we are dedicated to this mission.
Cage said she filed complaint to the NAACP about the store and police department:
They’re going to have to do more. I want justice not only for me, but for people everywhere. I hope after this, other victims of racial profiling will come forward. It’s solidarity. It’s not just about African Americans. It’s about everyone being treated fairly.
WREG has requested the police report.
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