A jury has awarded $1.2 million to a woman falsely accused of shoplifting at Macy’s in Georgia.
Patricia Johnson bought some clothing for her terminally ill son, who later died. As she exited, she stopped at a shirt table, pulled out a pair of shorts from the bag of clothes, trying to see if they would match the shirt. Deciding no, she put the tagged shorts back in her bag and left.
Thereafter, she walked to her car and two plainclothes detectives intercepted her. Jackson tried to show her receipt but the detectives refused to see it and told her to follow them to the detention center.
Stories of women abducted and killed in the same parking lot flashed through Jackson’s mind. She refused. She wanted to call the police on her cell phone. The detectives said no, took her cell phone, handcuffed her and brough her inside. In the detention cetner she was patted down and handcuffed to a metal bar. Jackson began crying, askeing to call the police or her husband. She was not allowed either. A detective read her a statement saying she was guilty of shoplifting and banned from Macy’s.
She held for 15 more minutes until the detectives matched her receipt with the items in her bag. Jackson was released. The manager said she could receive a discount on the clothes she bought.
Patricia instead opted to sue the store and was awarded $1.2 million in a settlement reached last Thursday. The grandmother is said to be so traumatized by the incident that she won’t go shopping by herself.