Dollar General manager fired after accusing black woman of ‘abusing the system’ with coupons
A Dollar General manager in New York was fired this week after he called the police on a black woman trying to use coupons, accusing her of “abusing the system.”
Madonna Wilburn, a special education teacher in Buffalo, posted a video on Facebook last week after a manager called the cops during her trip to the store, WIVB 4 reported Wednesday.
Wilburn was trying to use digital coupons through the Dollar General app when the manager refused to acknowledge them.
“I tried to show him on my dollar general app that I had clipped all of the coupons, so they should’ve came off. He told me that I was trying to beat the system, that I was trying to fraud the system,” Wilburn said.
She waited in the parking lot of 30 minutes before police arrived. They instructed her to call Dollar General’s corporate offices.
Dollar General said in a statement on Wednesday that the employee, who has been dubbed “Coupon Ken” online, has been fired.
“We always strive to deliver the best possible customer service and are disappointed anytime this doesn’t occur. Based on our investigation we believe that certain aspects of this matter including the involvement of law enforcement were not handled in accordance with our policies and expectations,” the company said in a statement.
Wilburn told WIVB 4 that she was rejected the $50 gift card Dollar General offered her over the incident.
The video Wilburn posted online has been viewed almost 400,00 times by Thursday and inspired the hashtag #CouponingWhileBlack.
“Actually, it’s been really depressing. The racist comments more so that people are making, she must be poor because she’s black or she’s couponing because she’s poor, she’s couponing because she’s black,” Wilburn said.
Wilburn, an educator, told the news station she wants Dollar General to use this as a “teachable moment.”
Her attorney said he wants to push legislation that slap penalties on people who call the police for no valid reason.
The incident follows a series of other high-profile events.
A similar incident occurred in a Chicago CVS Health store when a white store manager accused a black customer of using a fake coupon earlier this month.
Other people have been given their own internet nicknames after being caught on video calling the police.
A white woman called “BBQ Becky” called the police in Oakland, Calif., on a black family setting up a charcoal grill in a public park.
A viral video from last month showing a white woman dubbed “Permit Patty” calling 911 on a black girl selling bottled water in San Francisco outside of a Giants baseball game without a permit.
“Pool Patrol Paula” was charged with assaulting a black teenager at a community pool in South Carolina in June.