Portia Roberson, a Detroit lawyer, is the latest black person to be racially profiled while shopping. Roberson went to a suburban Detroit Talbots store to return items. Before she returned them, however, she wanted to try them on. According to her Facebook post, when Roberson emerged from the dressing room, she was confronted by police officers.
I convince myself that I need both pairs (of course) and leave the fitting room to pay for my items and return the others. When I exit the fitting room, I’m confronted by two Grosse Pointe police officers who ask to search my bag and ask me if I have any merchandise in the bag. I tell them to go ahead and search and point out the items and the receipt.
He tells me it is clear that someone made a mistake and then takes my bag to the store manager to point out that everything that I have in my possession, I have purchased.
The manager’s explanation was that she had asked the police to do a walk around the store because it was so busy (four customers, including me). I pointed out to her that after searching me, they left without searching anyone else.
I must tell you that my hands were shaking and my voice cracked when speaking. Honestly, I am still shaken. Today, I received a very harsh reminder and I will be calling corporate headquarters in the morning.
Talbots CEO Michael Archibold issued an apology to Roberson and stated that the company was currently investigating what happened.
There is no indication if Roberson will pursue the matter further.
Shopping while black strikes again.
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