Nitra Gipson was charged with felony forgery after the Meyer Park Wal-Mart manager accused her of passing bogus money orders. Thing is, the money orders were legit and had been purchased at Wal-Mart to begin with.
The cash-strapped college student had just sold her car to pay for her last two semesters at Texas Southern University, where she is studying criminal justice. She was paid with Wal-Mart money orders, which the giant retailer advertises as “good as cash.”
No manner of effort by Gipson to show that the money orders were legit worked. The store manager insisted she be charged.
The district attorney’s office saw it differently. Charges were dropped after the money orders were verified when Gipson provided the purchase receipts.
But after spending 48 hours behind bars, the damage had already beeen done.
Gipson said Wal-Mart then added insult to injury when she got a letter in the mail.
“I started to read it and thought, ‘Oh my God.’ They are asking me to pay them when it was clearly their mistake,” said Gipson.
The letter demanded Gipson pay Wal-Mart $200 to settle a shoplifting charge. It is a charge that never existed, though.
I understand that Walmarts tend to attract shoplifters and I understand a manager’s duty to prevent or eliminate shrink. I also understand that its drilled into managers just how carefully they have to approach supposed shoplifters for fear of false accusations leading to lawsuits for the company. I think someone thought it was highly improbable for a young black female to have that much money and reacted hastily based on his knee jerk reactions. I hope she sues–I mean the girl was in jail for two days for this when all they had to do was ask her for her purchase receipts–and the manager learns to look before he leaps to conclusions. Note to self: don’t buy Walmart money orders for large amounts of money unless I want to end up in jail.
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