The Nordstrom Rack president was going to fly personally to St. Louis in order to apologize to three teens who are black that were falsely accused of stealing in one of the chain’s stores.
Eric Rogers II, Dirone Taylor and Mekhi Lee were out prom clothes shopping when they began to notice several employees closely watching them along with following them throughout the store.
Lee said he became nervous since every time they would move around the store, so would the employees and when we looked up so did they.
Upon leaving the store, Brentwood Police surrounded the three teens in the store parking lot. Police told the teens that workers in the store accused them of stealing. After an on the spot investigation, police allowed the three teens to leave without being charged.
Rogers said that the police had acted professionally, understood where the teens were coming form and showed that all they were doing was their job.
As well as the accusations of theft, the teens said that a store customer had called them punks and had allegedly asked if their parents were proud of them.
In their own defense, the three said that an altercation had broken out amongst them and that customer, and management at the store had stepped in.
Taylor said he knew something was coming but was agitated, embarrassed and had mixed emotions with the entire situation because he knew they did not deserve it.
While the three were inside the store, they did buy something, and said it had been done to prove a point. Rogers said the purchase had been made to show them they were equal and did not to steal a thing.
The NAACP of St. Louis said it was getting involved and wanted to work with the President of Nordstrom Rack Geevy Thomas on how he would handle the situation with his staff at the store.
The NAACP St. Louis President Adolphus Pruitt said that the discussion must have sustenance and be strategic with measureable outcomes.
Nordstrom Rack in a prepared statement said it was attempting to address a verbal altercation at the time inside the store and did not handle that situation well and apologized to the three young men and each of their families. The company wants every customer to feel he or she is welcome when shopping at our stores and does not tolerate any kind of discrimination.