A Black woman and her family were at a Meijer’s department store when they were confronted by two police officers who said the family was on the store’s shoplifting radar. The problem with the officers’ account is that the woman claimed she had not only never visited the store before but also resided in a different state.
The woman says she is going to sue, believing her civil rights have been violated.
In a video posted to TikTok, white officer said to the woman, “You guys are already on the radar as far as known shoplifters.”
The woman immediately interjects saying, “I don’t even live here. I live in Texas and I have never been to this Meijer’s.”
The officer instructed her to leave the store if she wasn’t making a purchase. However, the party insisted they were shopping, but now buying clothing was not their concern. They wanted to know how they were on “the radar … as known shoplifters” but had never been in the store before.
The officer continued to assert they were on the radar and stated he was not willing to argue with them. The woman said she was ready to argue because he and the workers were “racially profiling” her.
Firmly rooted in her innocence, the woman asked to speak to the worker who allegedly placed them on the list — asking to see the alleged picture of her that triggered suspicion.
“We literally just walked in,” the other woman said as they waited for the manager to meet them.
As the group approaches the white manager, they are told that an employee saw them looking suspiciously at the clothing, which made them believe she was shoplifting.
“I had just gotten a call on you,” the manager said. “One of my employees [notice some suspicious activities].”
The woman pushed to figure out why she was being singled out and questioned what actions of hers warranted such attention. The video shows the cop repeatedly telling her to be quiet, but she wouldn’t and continued to explain her side.
As the voices escalated, the woman maintained that this was a case of profiling, while the officer tried to clarify the perspective of the Meijer’s workers and the reasoning that led them to perceive her as suspicious.
“An employee called,” he said, changing his story from her being on the radar list to his answering a call from the store worker, “And said you guys were doing suspicious activities as far as looking, checking, looking, checking,” and noting that was enough for them to suspect they were up to no good.
As the woman reiterated that she was simply shopping like any other customer and the reasons for stopping her and her party were illogical, the officer became visibly frustrated. He raised his hands in her face, telling her to stop talking. After a brief exchange, and perhaps realizing his error, he abruptly announced he was leaving and turned his back to walk away.
The women also decided not to shop at the store because of the reception they received.
Social media exploded, agreeing with the young lady that she was profiled and applauding her for filming the exchange.
“On the radar? Yea let’s go head and go to court,” one person on TikTok wrote, while another added, “They went from known shoplifters to being suspicious pretty quick.”
“Getting profiled for looking and checking inside a STORE is crazy,” a comment read.
Another person reminded them of what happens in cases like this, “Remember that huge lawsuit against Walmart for doing the exact same thing.”
In 2022, in Portland, Oregon, a Black man named Michael Mangum was awarded $4.4 million in damages from Walmart as a result of a racial profiling lawsuit.
One person speculated that not only is a federal complaint in the future, but the officer might lose his job. He wrote, “Sad… ‘STOP ARGUING WITH ME!’ well they got a lawsuit and that guy git a free vacation.”
Never miss a story — sign up for ATLANTA BLACK STAR’S free daily newsletters to stay up-to-date on the latest developments, from top news headlines to celebrity news.