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"Macy's Hit With $100M Discrimination Suit"

[UPDATE: The first link doesn't work. There are later reports here and here.]

According to this:

Sharon Simmons-Thomas, 40, said she was leaving the [a NYC Macy's store] with Christmas presents Dec. 17 when she was hauled into a detention room and accused of shoplifting by Macy's security guards because she is black.

Simmons-Thomas, a legal assistant, said she was singled out by plainclothes guards and, despite producing receipts, detained for an hour while she was searched, accused of stealing and forced to sign a confession.

At a news conference outside Macy's at Herald Square on 34th Street, Simmons-Thomas and her lawyers said they want to stop Macy's and its parent company, Federated Department Stores, from falsely accusing other black customers of shoplifting.

I'm sure she was detained by security. They might also have their side of the story concerning why she was selected. The complaint makes various allegations relating to mistreatment, and, once again, the security guards might have acted as described, or they might not have.

What makes me suspicious, however, are a few of those pesky facts things.

First, she signed a confession despite being a legal assistant, that is, in a position one would think to know better than to sign a false confession. I mean, many legal assistants know a fair bit about legal matters. Especially if she's been doing it for a while, she's probably heard what to do and what not to do. She's probably heard, typed, or read plenty of horror stories giving object lessons.

And, she just let them haul her off to a detention cell without demanding to speak to the police. In fact, after being released by store security, she passed by two NYPD officers and apparently didn't discuss what had just happened.

And, what also makes her case weak is the interminable race-baiting in the complaint:

"12. Prior to the discriminatory, humiliating and harassing conduct described below, Ms. Thomas was a loyal, long-time customer of Macy's..."

Why wasn't she stopped on previous occasions, if they only selected her this time because of her race?

"Ms. Thomas walked up a set of stairs leading from "The Cellar" to the main shopping floor and approached one of the store exits. At that time, she was stopped by two plainclothes security guards, an Hispanic male and an Hispanic female... The security guards walked Ms. Thomas to a set of stairs to the balcony, where they were joined by another plainclothes security guard, an Hispanic male..."

But, aren't People of Color supposed to stick together? Not when they're Tools of The Man.

"37. She was falsely imprisoned in this detention area against her will for well over one hour. Throughout her false imprisonment, Ms. Thomas saw only African-American or non-white detainees or prisoners in the detention area. She never saw any white detainees or prisoners.

38. Specifically, Ms. Thomas observed that there was an African-American male and another dark-skinned male who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent in one of the holding cells in the detention area, and that a teenage Hispanic girl was being held in another cell. There was also another African-American female prisoner who was handcuffed to a bench in the detention area."

So, in other words, Macy's needs to diversify its detention cells.

"40. Rather, the security guards stripped Ms. Thomas of all of her dignity and treated her as if she, as an African-American, had no rights that they were bound to respect..."

Wow, quite a bit of mind-reading there.

"[various threats and profanities ensued, all perpetrated by non-African-Americans] As this threat was made, five non-African-American security guards began to closely surround Ms. Thomas in an intimidating manner...

It was clear that Ramos found it hard to believe that Ms. Thomas, as an African American, could be employed at such a prestigious law firm."

Whence followed several more instances of intimidation, which were done despite knowing that she worked at a prestigious law firm. Can any group of rent-a-cops be that stupid? (The answer is probably no.)

"Rather, each one of the security guards she encountered that night, not one of whom was African-American, summarily presumed her to be guilty of shoplifting because she was black."

More excellent mind-reading.

"As she walked out of Macy's, Ms. Thomas saw two uniformed NYPD officers enter the store"

Then would have been a good time to complain about what she had just supposedly gone through. Why didn't she?

The events might have happened somewhat as she described, minus the interminable race-baiting. But, one would need to hear from others of her class, and interview the 8 or more security guards involved.

I think in addition to a lawyer, she needs a shrink to help her deal with her persecution complex.

MultiCultiCult · Tue, 05/20/2003 - 23:07 · Importance: 1

Mon, 01/17/2005 - 23:47
Ann
-

I am a Loss Prevention Agent, and I can totally see this crazy lady is just trying to "Get a Buck". This is a lady that feels so ashamed and embarrassed for shoplifting, that SHE obviously decided to try and turn the whole story all around to hide HER indecent act. It's sad having to realize that there really are people out there like this. I'm sure Wal-Mart will be next on HER list since SHE seems to go for the big companies!

Mon, 01/17/2005 - 23:47
Ann
-

I am a Loss Prevention Agent, and I can totally see this crazy lady is just trying to "Get a Buck". This is a lady that feels so ashamed and embarrassed for shoplifting, that SHE obviously decided to try and turn the whole story all around to hide HER indecent act. It's sad having to realize that there really are people out there like this. I'm sure Wal-Mart will be next on HER list since SHE seems to go for the big companies!

Thu, 05/22/2003 - 03:51
SSRIuser

Someone needs to find out whether this woman is an African-American. I beleive there could also be a viable slave reparation claim here if she is.

Sun, 08/16/2009 - 12:44
Weseeyou

I have to say that this is very hard to believe. Why would these detectives risk their jobs, all 5 let me remind you, in front of all these other detainees? Thats because it never actually happend. I would really like to know if she was perhaps a "known" shoplifter, or if she took anything that day. This is all for money, and its pathetic that playing the victim and using your skin color as a way to get out of things.. its almost like your racist yourself.. or whatabout the africans that went through true pain, and suffering, such a disgrace to them.