A beauty supply store manager in Charlotte, North Carolina, has come under fire for a video appearing to show him pinning down a female customer he accused of shoplifting.
The incident unfolded last Thursday at Missha Beauty when the shopkeeper accused a woman of trying to steal fake eyelashes from the store, according to Charlotte-based CBS affiliate WBTV, which cited a police report.
“The female attempted to leave the store, but [the owner] blocked the exit and asked the female to show him what was in her bag since the alarm had gone off,” police said, according to WBTV. “The female refused and a struggle ensued. The female then left the store and fled in a silver dodge sedan."
Cellphone video shot from inside Missha Beauty appears to show a verbal exchange between manager Sung Ho Lim and a female customer. Shoving ensues, followed by Lim kicking the woman and taking her to the floor. Lim then places the customer in an apparent chokehold as a woman behind him tugs at her arm, the video shows.
Lim said he wanted to prevent the customer from leaving before police arrived, according to WBTV. The cellphone video, Lim said, did not capture the woman allegedly shoplifting, the station reported.
Calls Wednesday to Missha Beauty rang unanswered or were met with a busy signal.
The video drew protests outside the shop Sunday, attended by members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg chapter of the NAACP, WBTV reported. Demonstrators said Lim’s reaction was unjustified even if something had been stolen.
Lim apologized to the group and said he planned to do the same to the woman, according to WBTV. But some demonstrators called for a boycott of the store, the station reported.
Two voicemails left Thursday with the president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg chapter of the NAACP were not returned.
Meanwhile, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) said at a press conference Wednesday that video they received “shows a more complete picture of the incident that took place,” and that they continue to investigate.
Messages left Wednesday and Thursday with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department were not immediately returned.