Nordstrom Rack apologizes after calling police on 3 black teens who were shopping for prom

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Nordstrom Rack apologized this week after employees at a Brentwood, Mo., store called police on three black teenagers who were shopping for prom.

The three young men, Mekhi Lee, Eric Rogers and Dirone Taylor, were shopping and trying on clothes last Thursday when they say they noticed employees following them around the store and decided to leave, The Washington Post reports.

They returned to the store when one of the three young men realized he had left a hat behind after trying on a shirt.

According to St. Louis NAACP President Adolphus Pruitt — who recounted the incident to the Post — when the young men returned to the store they were “confronted by an elderly white woman” who referred to them as “a bunch of bums” and asked if their “parents and grandparents” would “be proud of what you’re doing?” {mosads}

Pruitt told the Post that the three teenagers asked to talk with store management after the confrontation but were told they couldn’t meet with anyone. They left the store a second time, but decided to return again.

“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 said.

The young men continued shopping and then headed to the checkout line where they said they overheard employees say they were calling the police. The three teenagers then waited outside of the store for police to arrive.

Brentwood’s chief of police told the Post that the incident was sorted out within 30 minutes and police quickly resolved that no shoplifting had occurred.

Nordstrom apologized and the president of the company reportedly met with the three teenagers on Tuesday.

A Nordstrom spokesperson told the Post that the company has guidelines for employees and that the police are only supposed to be called in emergency situations.

“Unfortunately, those guidelines weren’t followed,” the statement said.

Tags Nordstrom Police

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