Just when you thought incidents of #ShoppingWhileBlack couldn’t get any more egregious, a Victoria’s Secret manager in Tennessee has taken racial profiling to a new low.
According to WREG, a Black woman was handcuffed after returning a bra, even though she had a receipt.
Jovita Jones Cage says she purchased a bra at Victoria’s Secret in Collierville, Tennessee but had to bring it back when she realized the sales person had forgotten to remove the security tag.
Jones Cage says she showed up to the store and handed an employee her purchase. Once they confirmed proof of purchase, she expected them to simply remove the tag and send her on her way. What happened next was decidedly more traumatic.
“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,” Cage explained.
However, while Jones Cage was shopping she was abruptly stopped by a police officer who immediately handcuffed her right in the middle of the store without saying a word.
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“The police officers walked straight up to me and slapped handcuffs on me,” said Jones Cage. When she inquired as to why she was being arrested, Jones Cage said the manager told her “to put both of my hands behind my back, because I was under arrest for shoplifting.”
The stunned Howard University graduate said she was terrified and began sobbing. Jones Cage works as a tutor and says a part of her was also worried that one of her students could have seen the situation.
“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,” she said recounting the embarrassing moment.
Eventually the officer on duty kicked her out of the store, and informed her she was banned from ever shopping there again, even though there had been no evidence that she was a shoplifter in the first place.
When Jones Cage complained to Victoria Secret directly, they offered her a $100 gift card, which she declined, and the company also released a statement saying, “The bottom line is, we made a mistake. We do not tolerate this behavior.”
The manager has since been fired and, much like the incident with Starbucks, employees will now be re-trained to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
But Jones Cage says she wants justice and has submitted a formal complaint to the NAACP about the store.
“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,” she said. “It’s solidarity. It’s not just about African Americans. It’s about everyone being treated fairly.”