A white female CVS pharmacist called police on a Tulsa, Oklahoma customer because she did not appreciate the tone of her voice during a payment dispute.
The racist ordeal was captured on video by Kendriana Washington, victim of the racial profiling, and posted to Twitter on July 15.
The video begins with a noticeably upset Washington, who works as a freelance writer and pays for healthcare out of pocket, explaining the moments that prompted her to capture the prejudice exchange before live streaming to Facebook.
Uploading a thread of tweets, Washington, who suffers from a chronic illness, detailed the altercation between her and two white employees, only referred to as Tanya and Debbie.
It all began when Washington’s payment method was declined through the pharmacy drive through.
Insisting she has the allotted funds, Washington asked the worker, Debbie, if they could try another register, but was told by the worker: “No. You don't have enough money on your account. That's usually what that means.”
According to Washington, she parked and went inside to complete her purchase, withdrawing funds from the ATM machine, telling Debbie: “You said that I didn't have money in my account. Here's the cash right here… You are discriminating against me, your comments were racist and I'm filing a complaint against you. Take my money and give me my prescription now.”
Another worker, Tanya, was summoned to the register to complete Washington’s transaction after she threatened to file a report against her lack of customer service.
Washington responds to Tanya’s apologies for the mishap, saying, “I don't want to hear what you have to say. I don't want to hear your excuses and I do not accept your apology. Just get my prescription so I can leave. Here's the money.”
She said it was then that Tanya told her: “I don't like your tone. You need to change your tone,” before calling the police on her.
Tanya is videoed telling the 911 operator Washington was “yelling at the top of her voice.”
The video also captures Washington telling Tanya she believes 911 would’ve never been called if she wasn’t black, to which Tanya countered, ‘I have black friends… it means I’m not racist.”
CVS has since replied to the thread of videos on Twitter, issuing an assurance that the company does not tolerate discriminatory practices.
In an official statement specifically for BET this morning, Mike DeAngelis, Senior Director of Corporate Communications, told us:
“We sincerely apologize to Ms. Washington for her experience in one of our Tulsa stores. As soon as we learned of this incident, we contacted her and conducted a thorough investigation. As a result, the two employees who were involved are no longer employed by CVS.
We are committed to providing courteous service and maintaining a welcoming environment in our stores. We have thorough non-discrimination policies and employee training in place to help ensure that all customers are treated with respect and dignity. Profiling or any other type of discriminatory behavior is strictly prohibited, and against everything we stand for.”
Earlier today, the self-proclaimed feminist revealed she spoke with CVS’ management, revealing she believes they are empathic to her claims and is taking appropriate action. She also originally tweeted about the ordeal but later took the tweets down.
This isn’t the first time CVS, headquartered in Rhode Island, has come under fire for racial discrimination.
Last July, Chicago CVS store manager, Morry Matson, called the police on a black woman named Camilla Hudson after questioning the legitimacy of a coupon.
The heated confrontation quickly went viral on social media. In a Facebook post, Hudson revealed three Chicago police officers responded to Matson’s call, where she was told that Matson, as an employee of the store, had the right to ask her to leave the property.
Matson, an independent candidate running for 48th Ward alderman, announced shortly after the ordeal that he was withdrawing from the race due to health problems.
A CVS spokesperson said they later contacted Hudson with sincere apologies for her unfortunate experience in their northside store.
In a statement posted to Twitter, CVS launched an investigation, and fired two workers involved in the case, including Matson.
CVS Statement on Chicago Store Incident pic.twitter.com/H4h3akdMzs— CVS Pharmacy (@cvspharmacy) July 16, 2018
Photo: ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP/Getty Images