Managers demanded minority guards act as overseers and slave catchers toward African American and Latino customers of CVSChris Sommerfeldt , Ashley Lewis , Stephen Rex Brown
The "shop-and-frisk" mentality has infected management and security staff at CVS pharmacies throughout the city, a new lawsuit charges.
Four “market investigators” charged with stopping shoplifters at the chain said they were urged to racially profile customers while also being harassed themselves because of their race.
The store investigators were “directed to follow utterly despicable and racist directives. Specifically, they were repeatedly instructed to intentionally target and racially profile black and Hispanic shoppers,” documents filed in Manhattan Federal Court read.
The lawsuit seeks class-action status for employees.
“It made me feel horrible. It was uncomfortable, overwhelming,” said Lacole Simpson, 32, who is one of the plaintiffs.
“I never thought I would ever have to go through that for the company.”
The ringleaders of the racism were Anthony Salvatore and Abdul Selene, regional loss managers in Manhattan and Queens, respectively, documents claim.
“These black people are always the ones that are the thieves,” Salvatore allegedly said.
He dispatched investigators to stores based on racist beliefs that “Lots of Hispanic people steal there” or “There are a lot of crack heads that are usually stealing at that store,” papers claim.
The investigators, who are either black or Hispanic, also had to answer to racist store managers while spying on potential thieves, they say.