By Kiersten Willis, atlantablackstar.com
A Victoria’s Secret employee at an Oxford, Alabama, mall was terminated Thursday, Dec. 8, after forcing three different Black women to leave the store when another, unknown Black woman was caught shoplifting. Kimberly Houzah captured the incident on Facebook Live a day earlier, as she visited the women’s clothing brand in Quintard Mall.
“We [were] kicked out the store, [but] [the store manager] still can’t tell me why,” Houzah says in the video, also noting that her bag was not checked. “I tell her, ‘I can buy anything in this damn store I want to,’ but because another Black female gets caught stealing … we have to be affiliated, so we’re all put out.”
Houzah then exits the store before giving her contact information to the other unaffiliated customer and vowing to call corporate. As she walks outside the mall, Houzah bursts into tears.
“Why I gotta be put out?” she asks. “Because I just happen to be Black in Victoria’s Secret? … But the thing is, me and the other Black girl, we didn’t even come [into] the store together. We just happened to be in there at the same time.
“Folks done made it okay to be publicly racist and say and do what they want.”
AL.com reported Houzah and some peaceful protesters visited the mall Dec. 8, where she got an apology from a Victoria’s Secret employee. However, it was not from the store manager, who is named Faith, according to Houzah’s video.
Authorities said they were not notified about the shoplifting situation when it happened and also said that no arrests were made. They also revealed that store personnel stopped the shoplifter during the act and that the items never left the store.
In response to the viral video, which has more than 862,000 views, Victoria’s Secret issued a statement on Facebook stating the store manager is “no longer employed with the company.” They also confirmed they apologized to Houzah.