EXCLUSIVE: Carolina Girls owner responds to accusations of racial profiling

The owner of a local store, accused by a mother and daughter of racial profiling, is speaking out tonight. News 2 first told you about Casey Parham on Monday. She says she was shopping at Carolina Girls on Kiawah Island over the weekend when an employee called her a shoplifter because she was holding a wallet she hadn’t paid for yet. Shocked and saddened, Casey left the store without buying the wallet.

Parham says, “It would’ve been easier if they just like approached me with an apology, a proper apology, and then offered something that they would do to prevent this in the future. That’s all I want from this, for it not to happen to other people, because it hurts.”

The owner, Stephanie Davis, of Carolina Girls is responding exclusively to News 2. She says she is doing everything she can to make this right.

Davis says, “As soon as we heard about this on Saturday morning, I posted a public apology to Ms. Syler and her daughter.”

But that didn’t stop the social media backlash.

Davis says, “Since posting that apology, we received even more negative feedback, so we took the Facebook page down.”

Stephanie Davis says she asked Rene Syler and her daughter, Casey Parham, if they’d like to meet in person to talk about it. So far, they’ve said no.

Davis says, “I have reached out to her directly, you know, as a mother. I have four children, I have two daughters, and I would love the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Syler and her daughter to talk about the situation and see if we can’t come together and move forward in a positive direction and offer some healing to the situation.”
She says,  “She declined my offer. She has continued to post and basically it’s a campaign against Carolina Girls on all platforms of social media.”

Davis says all this attention is taking a toll on her personally and professionally.

She says, “Of course I take it very personally. I love my stores, I love my employees, I love my customers. The store is me, my face is on the door, so I want people to come in and have a good experience. I’m open to doing whatever it takes to make her feel better.”

That includes meeting with Casey and her mother.

Davis says, “And again, the invitation is open for Ms. Syler and her daughter to come to the table, let’s sit down and discuss the situation. Help me connect the dots and let’s go forward in a healing manner.”

Davis tells News 2 part of employee training addresses race, and treating all customers equally. She says that will be an ongoing conversation within the store.

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