In May 2011, Brenda Moaning, a 59-year-old grandmother, was exiting her local H&M store in Oregon when two loss prevention officers and a security guard intervened and reportedly forced her into a security room. Moaning claimed that she was told she “looked like a common thief."
The incident reportedly began after Moaning prepaid for a $5 T-shirt at the register before picking up the item on her way out, which a clerk confirmed.
Fast forward to this week, when a jury in Mulnomah County, Oregon awarded Moaning with more than $105,000 for battery, false arrest and punitive damages after concluding her arrest to be false. However, jurors said she had failed to prove racial discrimination during the five-day trial.
“Now, when I do go into stores it makes me wonder, 'OK, is a code being called because a black woman has entered the store?'” Moaning told Oregon Live. “I feel like I’m being watched.”
H&M has since released an official statement regarding the incident:
"We apologize for all the inconvenience we caused the customer. We have full respect for the judicial process; this case has now been settled and we have no further comment."
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(Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for H&M)
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