Portia Roberson is an attorney and head of Detroit’s Civil Rights and Justice Department, who happened to be racially profiled while shopping in Grosse Point, Michigan.  Roberson was at a Talbots on June 29 and making a store return when she was approached by two Grosse Pointe police officers when she left the fitting room. After the officers searched her bags and checked her receipt, Roberson was eventually cleared her of any wrongdoing.

Roberson tweeted about the incident afterwards:

“I was in Grosse Pointe today at the Talbots on Kercheval. I had a somewhat large bag with me as well as my purse because I am returning two purchases that I ordered online and I needed a way to carry them in the store. I inform the sales clerk when I walk in that I have the second bag because I have two items to return, however, I want to look around first. I try on a pair of pants that I like so I come back out to see if they have another pair in a different color. I go back into the fitting room to make sure those fit also. I convince myself that I need both pairs (of course) and leave the fitting room to pay for my items and return the others. When I exit the fitting room, I’m confronted by two Grosse Pointe police officers who ask to search my bag and ask me if I have any merchandise in the bag. I tell them to go ahead and search and point out the items and the receipt. He tells me it is clear that someone made a mistake and then takes my bag to the store manager to point out that everything that I have in my possession, I have purchased. They take my name, address, and phone number so it is on “record.” I then proceed to the counter to give them back all the items that I had intended to purchase and to return everything that I had previously purchased. The manager’s explanation was that she had asked the police to do a walk around the store because it was so busy (four customers, including me)…I pointed out to her that after searching me, they left without searching anyone else. I must tell you that my hands were shaking and my voice cracked when speaking. Honestly, I am still shaken. Today, I received a very harsh reminder and I will be calling corporate headquarters in the morning. #notstealingfromanyw herebutdefinitelynot talbots  #postracial

Grosse Pointe Police Department said Grosse Pointe Park police responded to the incident and confirmed that there was a call for service. 


  1. dtshowme

    Don’t buy their stuff and speak up when you feel you’re being profiles. No exceptions. That’s the only way to hurt them – in their pockets

  2. Mary Burrell

    It doesn’t matter what a black persons accomplishments in society they are still considered less than and treated as such.

    • [email protected]

      I feel what you’re saying Sister. This woman was treated like a criminal. It does not matter what class or station in life that we are in. We still are in the same struggle and some folks view us as guilty until proven innocent. The woman not only had a receipt with her, but she was not doing anything wrong. The police not only did not search anyone else, but this racial profiling incident confirms all of my views about not this society post-racial. I am glad that she returned all of her items in the sense of not wanting to buy from there anymore.

  3. smiles



    I do not know why everyone thinks racism is dead. I do not know why everyone is surprised by this. There has been a color differential in how we are treated since the beginning and it will be the same til the end. If you want to hit Talbot’s, hit them on social media from Facebook, to Twitter, and urge others not to shop there.

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