CVS apologized Sunday to a black customer who said a white manager called the police after deciding that a coupon she tried to use at a Chicago pharmacy was fraudulent.
The manager and a second employee who was involved are “no longer employed by CVS Health,” the company said in a statement on its Twitter account Monday, adding that it had investigated the incident.
The company said that CVS has “firm non-discrimination policies in place to help ensure that all customers are treated with respect and dignity. Profiling or any other type of discriminatory behavior is strictly prohibited.”
The customer, Camilla Hudson, told “Today” in an interview that aired Monday that she was more upset by the way the manager handled the situation.
“I don’t take issue — not then, not now — with him not accepting the coupon,” she said. “It’s how he didn’t accept the coupon.”
Hudson first shared in a Facebook post how she presented the coupon for a defective product to a pharmacy manager last week. The manager told her he’d never seen a similar coupon and believed it was a fraud.
“When I asked for his name and his title/role within the store, he became agitated and rude,” she wrote. “When I pulled out my phone to document what happened and exactly what he’d said to me (AND how he’d said it!) he turned his back and walked away from me.”
A second manager told her that if she didn’t leave immediately, he’d call the police, she wrote. In a viral video that Hudson posted on Facebook, she can be heard confronting a manager, who appears to be describing Hudson to the authorities over the phone.
“Tell them that I will be here when they arrive,” she said. “I have ID and I will share it.”
The manager, who identifies himself in the video as Morry Matson, was a state delegate for Donald Trump in 2016, an aldermanic candidate on Chicago’s North Side and president of the Illinois affiliate of the Log Cabin Republicans, a conservative group that advocates for LGBTQ rights, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, which viewed Matson’s no-longer-active campaign website.
In an interview with the LGBTQ newspaper Windy City Times in April, Matson said the affiliate had recently been “reactivated” to remind Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner that “we still need to work on workplace discrimination. It’s still a problem in Illinois. Adoption, health costs, health insurance, keeping the cost of pills down — that’s important in the gay community.”
Matson didn’t respond to a message seeking comment on Sunday.
As with other recent incidents of alleged racial bias, he quickly earned a nickname on social media — #CouponCarl.
CVS said the employees involved in the incident won’t be working at that Chicago location pending the outcome of its internal investigation.
Hudson, meanwhile, said that after three officers arrived, she left the store at their urging. She still wants to know why the situation escalated to having law enforcement called.
“There’s nothing I did or said that would explain why he was interacting with me and treating me in the manner that he was,” she told “Today.”