2 women placed in handcuffs after trying to leave Walmart say they were racially-profiled

PEARLAND, Texas (KTRK) -- Two African American women are asking Walmart to provide additional training to their employees after they were put in handcuffs as they tried to leave the store in November.

Samantha Sharpe and her aunt, Cleatris Johnson, said they were stopped by a Walmart employee in Pearland as they headed for the exit with their bags. The employee reportedly asked to see their receipt.

"Ms. Johnson complied and started getting out her receipt," civil rights lawyer, Randall Kallinen, said. "She did ask, 'I noticed that you didn't stop those individuals.'"

The women said the employee pulled out a radio and called for someone else. A plainclothes loss prevention officer showed up moments later.

"We were tussling and she was trying to snatch my bag out of my hand," Sharpe said. "I was saying, 'Hey, don't touch my bag. Don't touch me,' and we were physically tussling in the store and then all the contents fell out on the ground."

The police were called and placed the women in handcuffs.

Once the officer reviewed the surveillance video and matched the items on the receipt to the items the women had, the women were released.

"To have handcuffs on and to have customers walking in and out of the store taking pictures of you on their cell phone, that is really low and embarrassing and I don't think you can get any lower than that," Sharpe said.

The women are not seeking money from the retailer. They said they want Walmart to provide sensitivity training to their employees.

In a statement, Walmart said:
"We don't tolerate discrimination of any kind and want all of our customers to have a pleasant shopping experience. We take allegations like this seriously and are doing a thorough review of what happened here and if appropriate, will take disciplinary action."

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