A Howard University graduate claimed she was racially profiled while shopping at Victoria’s Secret on Monday in Carriage Crossing Mall.
Jovita Jones of Collierville, Tennessee said she returned a bra back to the store with her receipt in hand after realizing the item still had a sensor on it. She told the Victoria’s Secret employee what happened and said there was no issue beforehand.
“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 told WREG.
The graduate said she was headed to the dressing room to try on some clothes when she detected an officer in the lingerie store.
“The police officer walked straight up to me and slapped handcuffs on me,” said Cage who was confused at the time.
The store manager called the police without conversing with the victim and Cage was “was under arrest for shoplifting.”
“I think it was for the simple fact that I was Black,” the college graduate explained. “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.”
The Collierville officer thoroughly searched her bag and found no items in it. After realizing that Cage wasn’t stealing, the cop pulled her out of Victoria’s Secret and forbid her from coming back.
Cage said she was “traumatized and crying” and filed a complaint with company’s corporate office. One of the employees apologized and presented a $100 gift card for the embarrassing ordeal, which the victim rejected. She also made a complaint with the NAACP.
“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… It’s solidarity. It’s not just about African Americans. It’s about everyone being treated fairly,” Cage told the news station.
Victoria’s Secret released the following statement:
“We are sincerely sorry for the experience Ms. Jones Cage had in our store. Bottom line, we made a mistake, and we do not tolerate this behavior. Our head of stores has been trying to reach Ms. Jones Cage to personally apologize for her experience. Victoria’s Secret is adamant that all customers be treated with dignity and respect. We have investigated the matter, and the associate involved is no longer employed with our brand. In addition, we are meeting with every associate in the store to reinforce our values and policies. We are committed to delivering an excellent shopping experience to every customer, every time … we have work to do – and we are dedicated to this mission.”