Lawsuit: Woman Forced To Strip At Target To Prove She Didn’t Shoplift

As she was leaving the store, a woman was stopped by a loss-prevention officer who accused her of hiding a bikini under her clothes that she didn't pay for.

Target has found itself in hot water after a Michigan woman accused the company of racial profiling following an incident in which she was forced to strip in front of male employees to show proof that she hadn't shoplifted a bathing suit.

Ashanea Davis, the alleged victim, claimed the ordeal unfolded at her local Target on May 22, The Root reports. As she was leaving the store, she was stopped by a loss-prevention officer who accused her of hiding a bikini under her clothes that she didn't pay for.

At some point, another officer arrived, and Davis found herself handcuffed and taken to a back room where she was told she had to expose her under garments to prove she wasn’t wearing the bathing suit.

“To obtain her freedom, she then has to pull up her shirt with two male employees at Target to prove she hasn’t stolen a bikini top, and then she has to pull down her pants to prove she hasn’t stolen a bikini bottom. And only then would they let her leave Target,” attorney Jasmine Rand said.

Davis is now taking the issue up the ladder to Target’s corporate offices with the help of her attorneys, Rand and Maurice Davis.

“At first, I was in shock, of course, and it was just very humiliating,” Davis said. “I felt degraded. It was sad. I was very upset.”

Davis is accusing the company race and gender discrimination.

“Someone needs to be held accountable, and it shouldn’t happen to anyone else,” she said.

Since news of the story broke, Target has issued a statement, noting that the employee involved has been terminated.

“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,” the statement read.

Unfortunately, Target’s response may be too little, too late as Davis treks forward with her lawsuit. Perhaps if the company made a conscious effort to make sure all of its team members were properly trained to check their racial biases at the door before clocking in, this situation could have been prevented.

 Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Rick Wilking

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