- A pregnant woman was reportedly questioned by a police officer while shopping at a Staples store in Pineville, North Carolina. The officer had been alerted by a store manager who reportedly suspected that the customer, Sherell Bates, was shoplifting.
- Bates was at the register when a police officer asked her what was under her blouse. “Initially, I thought he was joking, so my response was: ‘Twins,'” she told local ABC affiliate WSOC.
- Staples has issued a formal apology.
A woman pregnant with twins was stopped by a police officer at a Staples store in Pineville, North Carolina, after a store manager reportedly suspected her of hiding stolen goods under her shirt.
Sherell Bates said she was at the register when a police officer asked her what was under her blouse, local ABC affiliate WSOC reported. The officer had been alerted by a store manager who believed Bates was shoplifting.
“Initially, I thought he was joking, so my response was: ‘Twins,'” she told WSOC.
Bates said she is 34 weeks pregnant with a boy and girl. She told Fox 46 that neither the manager nor store officer apologised.
In a statement to the press, a spokesperson for Staples apologised to Bates and said that the manager had been fired:
“On Friday at our Pineville location a Staples’ manager mistakenly assumed a customer was shoplifting and reported this assumption to a police officer visiting the store. The police officer questioned the customer and quickly confirmed there was no theft. Based on the outcome, Staples’ issued a full refund to the customer. Staples has since conducted a full investigation into the matter, and determined that the manager in question did not follow correct protocol and also failed to adhere to our existing policy on how to interact with our customers. As a result of this finding, the manager has been terminated and Staples has apologised to the customer. At Staples, we want all customers to feel welcome in our stores, and work with our associates to foster an inclusive culture. As an organisation, we would like to apologise to the customer as that was not the case in this instance.”
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