CVS has apologized to a black woman and fired the two supervisors who called the police on her during a dispute over the legitimacy of a coupon, after a video the woman took of the call went viral, according to CBS News.
The woman, 53-year-old Camilla Hudson, was attempting to use a manufacturer coupon at a Chicago CVS location, and the supervisors on duty did not believe the coupon was real, allegedly accusing her of potentially forging it.
“Of course I had ZERO concerns about the police being called,” Hudson posted on Facebook after the incident. “Apparently, they’d hung up on him the first time he called, so he had to call them back a second time, telling the 911 dispatcher that I was harassing them (which I have on video). … Needless to say, this is far from over. Life in these United States. Aargh.”
Hudson went to CVS on Friday night, and tried to use a manufacturer coupon which, according to the photo she posted, was for a free CVS brand disposable incontinence product. Hudson said she received the coupon in the mail as compensation for a defective product.
The coupon didn’t work, and a supervisor came to assist. He then called another supervisor when the coupon still didn’t work, and the second supervisor, Morry Matson, said the coupon looked fake.
It isn’t known how this exchange specifically played out, but it resulted in Matson calling the police and reporting “an assault in progress.”
Hudson’s cellphone video begins while Matson is on the phone. Matson appears to be trembling while holding the phone providing Hudson’s description and information to the dispatcher.
“I’m black. Black isn’t a bad word,” Hudson is heard telling Matson after he describes her as “African-American” on the call.
Three police officers arrived on the scene, but did not take a police report, and both they and Hudson left the store without further incident.
A white man called the police on a Black woman for attempting to use a coupon @ the CVS Pharmacy located at 6150 N. Broadway in Chicago!
RETWEET THIS! pic.twitter.com/KnFQI4yhfT
— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) July 14, 2018
The company reviewed the incident over the weekend, and terminated both employees and issued a public apology to Hudson.
“CVS Health does not tolerate any practices that discriminate against any customer and we are committed to maintaining a welcoming and diverse environment in our stores,” a statement read. “We have firm non-discrimination policies in place to help ensure that all customers are treated with respect and dignity. Profiling or any other type of discriminatory behavior is strictly prohibited.”
Matson, the supervisor who called the police, is running for Chicago City Council.
Raw Story reported that Matson, a gay conservative, allegedly was caught forging signatures on a ballot measure for a waterfront bike path near his home.
The measure was reportedly thrown out by the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners due to a “pattern of fraud, false swearing and total disregard of the requirements of the election code.”