Try BlazeTV for Free
News

Nordstrom Rack apologizes after employees call police on black teenagers who were shopping for prom

Image source: TheBlaze

Nordstrom Rack has apologized after some of its employees called the police on three black teens for suspected shoplifting.

As it turns out, the teens were simply trying to shop for prom.

What are the details of the incident?

The incident occurred at a Brentwood, Missouri, store Thursday.

Employees noticed three young black men — later identified as Dirone Taylor, Mekhi Lee, and Eric Rogers — perusing the store's items and trying on clothing.

According to the Washington Post, Taylor, Lee, and Rogers noticed that several Nordstrom Rack employees were following them around the store.

Apparently feeling uncomfortable by the employees' scrutiny, the three young men decided to simply leave the store.

However, it wasn't long before one of the young men realized that he'd left his hat inside the store after trying on a shirt, and the group returned to retrieve the forgotten hat.

Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis NAACP, told the Post what happened next.

When Taylor, Lee, and Rogers returned to the Brentwood store, they were reportedly confronted by a fellow shopper — "an elderly white woman" — who called the trio a "bunch of bums."

The elderly woman reportedly asked the young men if their "parents and grandparents" would be "proud of what you're doing."

Instead of causing trouble, Pruitt said that the teens asked to speak with Nordstrom Rack management but were reportedly told that no one was available to meet with them.

Taylor, Lee, and Rogers left the store for the second time, but after consideration, decided to return a third time to make their purchases.

"They decided, 'We have money, we came here to shop and demonstrate to them that we aren’t thugs. We have money like anybody else,'" Pruitt told the Post.

The trio of teens finished their shopping and went to the checkout desk to pay for their goods. That's when the young men reportedly overheard employees saying that they were calling the police.

According to the Post, Taylor, Lee, and Rogers went outside and waited for the police to arrive. The outlet reported that when cops did arrive, the incident was dealt with within 30 minutes.

Police were able to verify that the three young men had not been stealing, though the call had accused the three teens of shoplifting.

Pruitt praised the actions of law enforcement for being open-minded and doing their job.

According to CNNMoney, Pruitt added that the students "were guilty of nothing but shopping while being black."

"These are good kids," Pruitt added. "The most remarkable thing was, when I asked them, what do you want [from Nordstrom Rack], they said, make sure no other black kids and their families have to go through the same thing."

What is Nordstrom Rack saying now?

A Nordstrom Rack spokesperson told the Post that employees were only to phone law enforcement under emergency circumstances.

"Unfortunately, those guidelines weren’t followed," a portion of the statement read.

Geevy Thomas, the company's president, also reportedly issued an in-person apology to the three young men.

According to CNNMoney, Thomas expressed his appreciation to be afforded "the opportunity to listen to [the teens'] concerns and offer our sincere apologies on behalf of Nordstrom."

He added that Nordstrom has plans to execute a "a thorough internal investigation of the actions taken by our employees.

Thomas also thanked the young men for "their poise in dealing with local law enforcement."

One last thing…
Watch TheBlaze live and on demand on any device, anywhere, anytime.
try premium
Exclusive video
All Videos
Watch BlazeTV on your favorite device, anytime, anywhere.
Try BlazeTV for Free
Recommended
Daily News Highlights

Get the news that matters most delivered directly to your inbox.