An African-American woman live streamed a video (below) to Facebook on Dec. 7 in which she described being kicked out of a Victoria's Secret store at a mall in Oxford, Alabama, as it happened.
In the video, Kimberly Houzah says another black woman was caught stealing, and that she (Houzah) and a third black woman were told to leave the store by an employee for an unidentified reason.
Houzah states in the video:
I never, never would have thought in a million years that would happen to me. [The store employee] didn't check my bag. She didn't accuse me of stealing, but because I'm black, and another black person happen to get caught stealing, we gotta be affiliated.
Houzah later says, "I got put out of Victoria's Secret just for being black," and soon breaks down into tears outside of the store.
Houzah and some people who support her returned to the store on Dec. 8 and received an apology from a different employee.
"I'm a little more settled about it today," Houzah told the Alabama Media Group on Dec. 8. "I don't want anything bad to happen to anyone. I mean, I can't change who I am. I'm an African-American female and I just want to be treated like everybody else."
No one was arrested in connection to the shoplifting, nor were the police contacted, according to Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge.
The Victoria's Secret corporate office posted a message on its Facebook page on Dec. 8:
We take the experience of our customer at the Quintard Mall very seriously and have reached out to her directly to express our sincere apology. What happened at our store should not have happened and does not represent who we are or what we stand for.
The store associate involved in this matter is no longer employed with the company. Victoria’s Secret is adamant that all customers regardless of race be treated with dignity and respect at all times.