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Malcolm entered the store by himself at 5:40 p.m. to purchase electronics to take to his cousin's house in Philadelphia, the lawsuit said. During the incident, he verified his employment, the lawsuit said.
Malcolm used his credit card to purchase the merchandise and showed his driver's license as a form of identification — the same name printed on each — but staff members at the store accused him of using a stolen card and fake license after the transaction was approved and completed, the lawsuit said.
"The transaction went through without the bank denying the transaction or notifying plaintiff Malcolm to call his credit card provider, " the lawsuit states.
After purchasing four items including a Sony flat screen television, Malcolm was told to move his vehicle to the front of the store so an employee could load the car, the lawsuit said.
While waiting for the merchandise, an employee told Malcolm he needed to speak with the store manager. The lawsuit alleges the employee and manager conspired against Malcolm and racially profiled him.
Malcolm was allegedly "assaulted and battered" by employees using "unnecessary and excessive force" to detain him, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit alleges store employees, who told Malcolm he was under arrest, detained him for at least two hours because he "used a stolen credit card and produced a fake driver's license."
Lawrence Police Chief Mark Ubry said Wednesday a store employee called 911 that night, requesting an officer to the store on a report of a "suspicious person."
Three officers arrived at 7:58 p.m. and spoke with the manager and Malcolm, Ubry said.
"The manager did not request any further assistance. That's basically all the record says, " Ubry said.
The suit alleges police detained Malcolm for alleged credit card fraud and "created an embarrassing and humiliating situation" for him.
The last officer left the store at 8:20 p.m., Ubry said. The police report did not indicate further details, Ubry said.
When Malcolm asked if he was being profiled, the lawsuit alleges that a store manager responded, "Yes, because we get hit a lot with people from New York."
Records included in the lawsuit show the company reimbursed Malcolm for the merchandise when he decided he did not want to purchase the items following the incident.
Corporate management is currently handling the incident, store officials said when reached by telephone Wednesday morning. Messages left with the corporate office were not returned Wednesday.
Editor's note: This post has been updated to include comments from Lawrence Police Chief Mark Ubry and more details about the lawsuit.
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