Black teens falsely accused of shoplifting at Nordstroms thegrio.com

Yesterday, Nordstrom president Geevy Thomas met with the three Black teenage boys who were racially profiled at his company’s Brentwood Mall location in St. Louis.

Mekhi Lee, Dirone Taylor and Eric Rogers II were shopping for prom attire last week when they noticed that they were being followed by employees in the store. The quick-thinking boys understood that they were being racially profiled and even made a  purchase on the way out of the store just to settle the situation, but police arrived and the boys were questioned about a possible theft. They were eventually released without charges.

Nordstrom Statement

Following the Nordstrom president’s meeting with the three young men, the company issued the following statement:

Recently there was a situation in one of our Rack stores that resulted in our employees calling the police. We have guidelines that direct our employees to only call the police in emergency situations. Unfortunately, those guidelines weren’t followed. As soon as we became aware of the incident, Geevy Thomas, president of Nordstrom Rack, reached out to each of the impacted families to offer our sincere apologies, listen to their concerns and express our extreme disappointment that this situation occurred.

Today, Geevy met with the young men and their families to learn more about their experience and discuss how we can improve both in St. Louis and across the country.

Nordstrom is committed to creating a welcoming and respectful environment for our customers and our employees. We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind.

“I feel fortunate to have met these young men and their families. I appreciate the opportunity to listen to their concerns and offer our sincere apologies on behalf of Nordstrom,” said Geevy Thomas, President of Nordstrom Rack. “I also want to thank the young men for their poise in dealing with local law enforcement and the police themselves for handling the situation professionally.

“We want to make sure we have a full understanding of the situation. We are conducting a thorough internal investigation of the actions taken by our employees and are moving quickly to understand where we have opportunities to improve and take action. We are committed to ensuring our processes and guidelines are well understood by our employees, and identifying opportunities to enhance the training and resources we offer them.”
 

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