Couple strip searched over $3 earrings at southeast Houston beauty supply

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by Rucks Russell

KHOU 11 News

Posted on April 11, 2014 at 2:27 PM

HOUSTON— Deadra Pattum and her fiancé John Marsden have a bone to pick with Y Beauty Supply in southeast Houston.

The couple said they were humiliated inside the store last week when they stopped by to purchase some hair extensions.

“I’m not a thief,” said Pattum.

They said they were over-billed for a pair of $3 earrings they never took.

“I picked them up but I put them back,” said Pattum.

“The owner said you people always steal,” said Marsden. “And he said give me the earrings and I call police. My rights were revoked."

The couple claimed they were threatened and forced to remain in that store. Marsden said he was intimidated by the manager and ordered to strip down and be searched.

“So I took off my socks and shoes and I took off my pants,” said Marsden. “I was nervous."

Within minutes, a security officer showed up, and immediately looked at the surveillance video.

“She never left the counter with those earrings in her hand,” the guard said. “There was no evidence of shoplifting.”

Houston Police agreed. Their officers looked at the same video and found no evidence of shoplifting. Activist Quanell X is now involved.

“This was a classic case of racial profiling in its most humiliating form,” said Quanell X. “And something needs to be done about this.”

The owners of the store refused to discuss the specific incident but said shoplifting is a big problem at their business. But Pattum insists she and her fiancé did nothing wrong.

“Everybody doesn’t shoplift," said Pattum. "Everybody is not a thief. There are still honest people in the world.”

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