66ºF

Woman claims she was racially profiled at South Florida H&M store

Daniela Taylor wrongly accused of shoplifting from Pembroke Lakes Mall

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – A South Florida woman claims she was racially profiled by security at the H&M store at the Pembroke Lakes Mall.

"I was completely humiliated. The whole experience was traumatizing. They treated me like a criminal," Daniela Taylor said.

Taylor's attorney said the woman was returning some earrings Sept. 25 and purchasing new ones when store security accused her of shoplifting. 

"The officers ripped her bag out of her hand, ripped her cell phone out of her hand (and) accused her of stealing," attorney Jasmine Rand said. 

But even after loss prevention officers reviewed security camera footage and realized she didn't steal anything, she said they didn't offer an apology.

"Honestly, I was confused," Taylor said. "I was like, 'What did I do? I know I didn't do anything wrong.'"

A representative from H&M released the following statement to Local 10 News Tuesday: "Unfortunately this was a misunderstanding and we are sorry. We have since let go of the third party security company that was involved and we are reviewing our internal procedures to make sure this type of incident does not happen again."

In January, the company apologized for an ad featuring an African-American child modeling a hoodie sweatshirt that said "Coolest monkey in the jungle." 

Protestors in South Africa vandalized several H&M stores and the company apologized. 

Taylor said that is why she is taking the company’s apology to her with a grain of salt.

"Saying that you guys are going to review and make things better, I don't believe it," she said.