A California woman believes she was racially profiled and wrongfully accused of stealing by a Macy’s store clerk.
According to KNTV-TV, Conteh Moore was shopping at a San Jose Macy’s on May 8th when a sales associate accused her of stealing a bottle of cologne. Shortly thereafter, the employee performed an invasive strip search on her without her consent but came up empty handed.
“They searched my purse and stripped my sweater off me,” Moore said.
She also claims the employee made comments that demonstrated her suspicions about Moore being a thief were based on racial bias.
“She said, ‘People like you have been stealing from Macy’s, stealing stuff,’” Moore explained.
To add insult to injury, the employee made a scene and loudly accused her of shoplifting in front of other customers, then made her wait nearly two hours to speak with a manager about the incident.
“I feel so humiliated, and up until now, I am still feeling the pain,” Moore said.
A Macy’s representative apologized for the incident and told the TV station that racial profiling is prohibited by company policy.
“We apologize,” the company said in a statement. “The situation is currently under investigation and is being reviewed. Macy’s is a company that values acceptance, respect, and integrity and does not tolerate discrimination of any type.”
The local affiliate reached out to legal analyst Steven Clark who said stores are allowed to look inside purses or personal bags if they have probable cause to believe a customer has stolen something. But they are not allowed to make you take off any clothing.
Moore said she intends to pursue legal action against Macy’s.