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A jury in Multnomah County, Oregon found 59-year-old grandmother Brenda Moaning falsely arrested for shoplifting at a local H&M store, and awarded her more than $105,000 for battery, false arrest, and punitive damages.
KOIN6 reports that the May 2011 incident began when Moaning prepaid at the register for a $5 tee at the front of the store, than placed it in her bag on the way out. Two loss prevention officers and a H&M security guard grabbed her and forced her into a security room, even after the clerk acknowledged Moaning's purchase. According to court documents, Moaning was told that she "looked like a common thief."
Review of surveillance footage revealed that the camera zoomed in on Moaning as she shopped. Although Moaning wasn't awarded damages for racial discrimination, she told KOIN6 that she believes she was racially targeted.
Her attorney, Greg Kafoury, stated: "The ugliest part of the case is they made up a story and fed it to their employees that she was yelling, cursing, swearing and threatening lawsuits and the jury didn't believe a word of it."
Update: H&M has released an official statement on the matter. "We apologize for all the inconvenience we caused the customer," it reads. "We have full respect for the judicial process; this case has now been settled and we have no further comment."
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