An outraged Florida woman says she was the victim of racial profiling after being falsely accused of shoplifting at an H&M store at the Pembroke Lakes Mall this week.
Daniela Taylor said the incident unfolded Tuesday when she went to H&M to return a pair of earrings and decided to purchase another pair. As she walked out of the store, that’s when she says two loss prevention officers approached her and accused her of stealing.
She said the ordeal left her feeling “embarrassed.”
“It was a black thing. Period,” Taylor told CBS Miami. “I wasn’t the only person in there. Why me?”
“I didn’t do anything,” she added, fighting back tears. “And I said that over and over again, I didn’t do anything.”
Taylor said she was most upset by a comment made by one of the loss prevention officers, who was African-American.
“I’m cursing because obviously I have already told him I didn’t do anything,” she recalled. “I said, ‘you should understand where I’m coming from. If you were on the other end of the table, you should understand how they do us these days.’ He said, ‘Don’t pull the race card on me.’ ”
It wasn’t until after they reviewed the store’s security tapes that the officers realized Taylor hadn’t stolen anything. The loss prevention officer later apologized for the incident, but the young woman says the damage is already done.
“They need to be better at who they hire,” Taylor told the station. “They really need to look into people and do the extensive training that needs to be done.”
H&M, who’s dealt with its fair share of controversy, released a statement addressing what it called a “misunderstanding.” The loss prevention officers in question have since been fired, the company confirmed.
“We have since let go of the third party security company that was involved and we are reviewing our internal procedures to make sure this type of incident does not happen again and that our routines are properly followed,” it said. “We will be getting in touch with the customer to follow up on the steps we have taken.”
Watch more in the clip below.