(London Guardian) When Samya Moftah walked into the Macy’s flagship New York store looking for gifts for her family last summer, she did not expect to be locked in a basement cell and charged with multiple crimes. Nor did the department store, already blighted by allegations of racism, expect to have another lawsuit on its hands.
Moftah, 53, was carrying two bags – one from JC Penney, and the second from a previous Macy’s shopping trip. Her plan was to exchange clothes from a couple of weeks prior for different sizes. After finding clothes for her daughter, she went to a register to buy and exchange the other items.
On the way out, a Macy’s Herald Square manager pulled Moftah aside by the arm, and told her that she needed to accompany her to an office, and that she had shoplifted, according to an affidavit provided by Moftah’s attorneys from the Usar Law Group. She thought she would show the manager her receipts and be on her way, and followed her into an elevator with her purchases. Two plainclothes security officers joined them on another floor. In the basement of Macy’s they led her to a row of “what looked like jail cells”. Moftah’s purse and phone were taken, and she was patted down under her shirt, legs, private areas as she repeatedly asked what was happening.
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