On September 16th at approximately 3:55pm, my 12yr old daughter's civil rights were violated at the Walgreens, located in North Arlington, NJ; our family store. My daughter entered to return a purchase and upon request of a refund, she was advised by the cashier that manager approval was required because she did not have a receipt; however, she did have the credit card that was used at time of purchase. When the assistant manager arrived he immediately asked my daughter her age and grade. My daughter cordially responded, “12yrs old and the 8th grade". She was asked to wait for a moment and upon return he coerced her to the back of the establishment; behind closed doors. He then began to interrogate her, "Where did you purchase this cream? When did you purchase this cream?" My daughter responded, "I purchased this here, on Saturday". Then he accused, "yeah right, you stole this!" He then called his store manager, and said, "Boss it looks like we have a problem here". My daughter suggested they swipe the credit card to verify the item was purchased there (even though it was a Walgreens product); they declined. My daughter asked, "Can I call my mom?" and .they responded "that’s not necessary" and proceeded with the interrogation! My daughter remained inside the North Arlington Walgreens for approximately 30 minutes. Her friend was waiting outside and after phoning her with no response, decided to go in and look for her. In the store, she called out to my daughter with no response. Eventually, she was tapped on the shoulder by the same cashier that had attended my daughter; she asked her if she was looking for her friend to which she replied, "Yes". The cashier sarcastically told her, "Well I suggest you leave because your friend stole and we are going to call the cops".
My 12 year old daughter was unlawfully detained, imprisoned, harassed, verbally assaulted, terrorized and humiliated by two male Walgreens employees. After much interrogation, they checked the credit card and confirmed that the item was purchased on the date and time my daughter initially told them. The manager did not apologize to my daughter for what they did, he simply mocked, "I gave you a good scare, huh? Next time don’t come here with so many of your friends (my daughter and two of her friends) because we will automatically think you are stealing". My daughter was frightened, intimidated and ridiculed. She is traumatized and afraid to go into a store for fear the same thing might occur. I have taught my daughter to be respectful to her elders and authorities. She viewed them as such; however, they took advantage of their role and my daughter's innocence.
I am outraged and want justice to be served!!!! I ask you, family and friends to please support my daughter and sign this petition! I’d like these two employees terminated. As parents, it is our responsibility to protect our children at all cost. This could be your child! Please, let’s stand together, for our children and make a difference!