A Black Tennessee woman accused a Victoria’s Secret manager of racially profiling her after she attempted to return a bra that still had a security sensor on it.
According to Raw Story, Jovita Jones Cage said she purchased the bra at Victoria’s Secret in Collierville, but was forced to bring it back when she discovered the security tag was still on the item once she got home.
Jones Cage described what happened next after handing an employee her purchase and explaining the problem.
“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.
Shortly after, Jones Cage began shopping she was greeted by a police officer who immediately handcuffed her without question.
“The police officers walked straight up to me and slapped handcuffs on me,” she said. After asking why she was being arrested, the manager told her: “to put both of my hands behind my back, because I was under arrest for shoplifting.”
The Howard University graduate said she was terrified and began crying. Jones Cage works as a tutor and was 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.
The officer eventually took her out of the store, and told her she was banned from shopping there, even though there was zero evidence that she was shoplifting.
After Jones Cage complained the company offered her a $100 gift card, which she declined and the company released a statement. “The bottom line is, we made a mistake. We do not tolerate this behavior,” the statement read.
The manager was fired, and the company said that they would meet with every employee to go over store-wide policies.
However, Jones Cage says she wants justice, and 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,” Jones Cage said. “It’s solidarity. It’s not just about African Americans. It’s about everyone being treated fairly.”
The officer has not been identified and WREG has requested his information.