Today, December 26, 2013 I was racially profiled and wrongly accused of stealing from this Ralph Lauren outlet store in Woodbury Commons, NY.
I was standing in the a corner of the store charging my phone and browsing at some clothes. When I was done charging my phone I took the charger out of the outlet and put it into my purse. Seconds later a store employee comes from out of nowhere, corners me and says “Give me that back!” I responded “What? My phone charger?” as I pulled the charger out of my bag. She proceeds to accuse me of stealing a shirt with a very condescending tone, which I replied “I didn’t steal any shirt. Do you want to check my bag?” She insisted that I stole a shirt after I explained to her that I was just charging my phone and I insisted on her checking my bag, which she refused. After that she told me to leave the store. As I was leaving I asked why she was kicking me out, I didn’t steal anything and insisted that she checked my bag so that I can prove my innocence but she refused and told me to leave. I left and on my way out she told another worker/manager that I just put a shirt in my bag. There were detectors on both sides of the door, if I had anything in my bag obviously the detectors would have gone off and the fact that nothing happened when I walked through the doors once again proved my innocence.
Once outside I immediately called the close family friends that I went to the store with and they told me to come back in. When we demanded to speak with a manager and the employee that kicked me out, we were forced to wait 10 minutes for someone to come out to speak with us, without the employee that accused me. They claimed she had left for the night. After having to wait for such a long time, tensions were high and politeness was out the door. We demanded the names of the employees that were involved but were denied the information. After numerous times of asking and security being called in, we were able to obtain the names, but not without a struggle. I was told that my use of profanity was grounds to kick me out of the store by a security guard, who was not even present during the incident. I didn’t use profanity until I was forced to leave, proving to not be a justification for the action that was taken.
We were told to keep our voices down so that the other customers wouldn’t hear, which caused us to be louder. People need to hear the racial injustice that went on!
I will never support such a racist establishment again and neither should any other person of color. My skin color is a threat to these establishments. This incident will NOT go unheard. Racial profiling must not be tolerated. I am tired of being attacked and dehumanized because of the color of my skin.
Please spread the word & reblog and please do not support establishments that perpetuate racism on the grounds of discrimination and fear.