A Dollar General manager in New York is out of a job this week after calling the cops on a Black woman he accused of “abusing the system” when she tried to use coupons.
Madonna Wilburn, a special education teacher in Buffalo, posted video of the incident on Facebook earlier this week showing employee Ken Dudek dial police after growing angry with her for allegedly “stacking” her coupons.
“I tried to show him on my dollar general app that I had clipped all of the coupons, so they should’ve came off,” she told local station WIVB 4. “He told me that I was trying to beat the system, that I was trying to fraud the system.”
After Dudek refused to honor her vouchers, Wilburn said she waited 30 minutes in the parking lot for police, who suggested she call Dollar General’s corporate offices. She did just that.
In a statement Wednesday, the company confirmed Dudek, who online critics dubbed #CouponKen, had been fired.
“ … We always strive to deliver the best possible customer service and are disappointed anytime this does not occur,” the company wrote. “Based on our investigation we believe that certain aspects of this matter including the involvement of law enforcement were not handled in accordance with our policies and expectations. For this reason, we have made the decision to sever our employment relationship with the employee involved.”
The retailer also said, moving forward, it would use the situation to “help identify opportunities to augment education and training for all employees.”
To remedy the incident, Wilburn said Dollar General offered her a $50 gift card — which she rejected. She said the money doesn’t make up for the employee’s behavior, period.
“This is definitely a teachable moment,” Wilburn told WIVB 4. “Although it’s coupons, it’s still about how you respond to a situation.”
Wilburn’s lawyer said he’s now pushing for legislation that’ll slap penalties on people who call the police for no good reason.