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Second Woman Accuses Southfield Target Of Racial Profiling

June 11, 2018 - 8:26 pm

(WWJ) -- Another woman has come forward to accuse a local Target of racial profiling.

Ashanae Davis, an African-American female, alleged last week that she was racially profiled by employees of the Southfield, Mich., Target store and forced to expose herself after being accused of theft. Her allegations at a press conference last week sparked a slew of claims against the department store.

Her attorney, Maurice Davis, says she was accused of stealing a bikini and forced to strip down in front of male employees.

Now he says a second client -- Erica Anderson, also an African-American female -- is alleging profiling against the same store.

She alleges last November, while returning a microwave at the store, "plain clothes loss-prevention officers" approached her as she was walking out the door and grabbed her by the arm, leaving indentations on her arm.

“She had no idea what was going on, she didn’t know who these individuals were," her attorney said. "They didn’t identify themselves as loss-prevention officers and they basically detained her and accused her of stealing, although she had done nothing wrong.”

Attorney Jasmine Rand, working with Maurice Davis, said there have been a multiple people across the country have come forward with similar allegations.

“We’ve had probably about 50 or 60 calls from throughout the nation and that’s just in one week," Rand said. "From the press conference that we held, and there’s several other cases that we will be working on and several clients we’ll be representing. Calls continue to come in daily.”

Following the announcement Monday, Target issued a statement regarding the recent allegations.

"At Target, we want our stores to be welcoming places for all guests and want everyone to have a positive experience every time they engage with our team," the statement says. "However, we know there are times when we fall short, and in those situations we do everything we can to make it right with our guests and reinforce Target’s expectations with our team members."

The statement said immediately following the incident with Ashanae Davis, a store leader spoke with her to apologize and they launched a full internal investigation, which led to the firing of the store's security team member the following day.

Additionally, Target’s head of store security and regional leadership team went to Southfield last week to meet with the Southfield store team and reinforce security procedures and expectations.

"While we’re not in a position to comment specifically on [Monday's] allegations, we will immediately review the concerns raised," the statement said. "We take all allegations of employee misconduct seriously and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We regularly train our team members to uphold Target’s values, including longstanding security training, unconscious bias training that’s been rolling out to our entire team since 2017, and guest service training. We want our team members, guests and all families to know we will never tolerate anything except respect and inclusion for everyone."