SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) - A woman says she is planning to sue Target after she was falsely accused of shoplifting a Southfield store and forced to expose herself to three employees to prove her innocence.
Attorneys for Ashonae Davis say on May 22, the 20-year-old stopped into the Southfield Target store on Southfield Road near 13 Mile to shop for a new bikini, when a loss prevention officer aggressively grabbed her by the arm as she was trying to leave.
"Next, a second loss prevention employee, who was in uniform, approached Ms. Davis and he handcuffed her," said civil rights attorney Jasmine Rand.
After being cuffed, Rand says the officers humiliated her in front of other customers by parading her through the store in a public and "derogatory manner." She says the officer pulled her through the store backwards by the handcuffs, yelling loudly that she was stealing panty swimwear underneath her clothing.
Rand says once Davis reached the loss prevention office, she was told she had to prove she didn't have a stolen bikini underneath her clothes. She says that's when a female manager was called over to help, but never asked the two men to leave the room.
"They actually forced her to pull up her shirt and pull down her pants in front of two male employees at Target," Rand said.
Rand says the employees quickly apologized, walking her out. She believes Davis was racially profiled and her civil rights were violated.
"Target as a corporation has a standing history now of discriminating against black and Latino, people in their hiring practices," she said.
Target has released the following statement: "We want everyone who shops at Target to feel welcomed and respected and take any allegations of mistreatment seriously. We're sorry for the actions of our former team member, who created an experience we don't want any guest to have at Target. Upon reviewing our team's actions, we terminated the team member who was directly involved and are addressing the situation with the security team at the store."
Davis' attorneys are hoping to get their hands on that surveillance video and are planning to file a lawsuit seeking civil damages and possibly criminal wrongdoing for false arrest and false imprisonment.