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Black Woman Sues Target for Making Her Strip to Prove She Didn’t Steal

Ashanea Davis is filing a lawsuit against Target after she was accused of shoplifting and allegedly forced to lift her clothing to prove she was innocent.

The incident occurred at the Southfield, Michigan store location on May 22. Davis says two loss prevention officers racially profiled her. The alleged victim claims one officer approached her as she left the store, he accused her of stealing a bikini. She was placed in handcuffs and taken to the back room of the discount store. It was there she alleges that she was forced to lift up her shirt and pull down her pants to reveal herself to the two men, in order to prove she was not hiding the bathing suit.

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

Since the incident, Target has terminated one of the employees involved in the encounter. The company has also released a statement apologizing:

“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.”

Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.