How many of us have had this happen? We buy an item of clothing with one of those magnetic lock or ink sensors on them, and get home to find the cashier didn’t remove them? I know it has happened to me…then I have to drag my ass back to the store with my receipt and the item of clothing and ask them to remove the sensor so I can wear it. Pain in the ass, but you know, it happens. Cashiers are human. Guess what has never happened to me when I did that, though? I have never been arrested for shoplifting when I did that. Nope. Not once.
Because racism runs rampant, Jovita Jones Cage cannot say the same thing. She bought a bra at Victorias Secret in their Collierville, TN store. The cashier accidentally left the sensor on the bra. Cage realized it when she got home. She brought it back to the store with the receipt, asked the cashier to remove the sensor, which the cashier did, then left the bra, bag and receipt with the cashier so she could browse around the store some more.
Next thing she knows, she is being arrested for shoplifting by a police officer. A store manager had called the police without talking to her, or, apparently, to the cashier who might have set her straight about what was going on. After being treated like crap, and having her bag searched “aggressively,” she was told not to return to the store. Naturally, she was humiliated and traumatized. She is a teacher – she feared, what if one of her students’ families saw her being arrested?
Victoria’s Secret apologized (of course) and offered her a $100 gift card. Well, it’s more than the jury offered the family of Gregory Hill for the police murdering him ($4, then .04, then $0), but hey, it’s hard to find a good-fitting bra these days. She turned that insulting offer down. She wants to be treated fairly, that is all.
The company issued a statement apologizing, and saying the store manager has been fired. They committed to meeting with all the employees of that store to reinforce their values of treating everyone with dignity, blah blah blah. We’ll see what happens.
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In the meantime, the local TV station reporting this, WREG, has requested the report filed with the police, along with the officer’s records. I hope they keep us posted on what they receive, because we need to hold police accountable for assessing the reliability of reports made against Black people in this country. It’s not like we have a great record on that… traumatizing Black people for other people’s mistakes is proving to be a hard habit to break.