CVS Manager No Longer Employed After Alleged Racial Bias Incident Near Loyola

Carly Behm | The PhoenixTwo employees at an Edgewater CVS are no longer employed after being involved in an alleged racial bias incident over the weekend.

Two employees of an Edgewater CVS near Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus are no longer employed at the store after an alleged racial bias incident this past Friday with a black customer, according to the pharmacy chain.

The incident gained widespread attention after the patron, Chicagoan Camilla Hudson, turned to Facebook to describe what happened to her and posted a cell phone video of a white CVS manager, later identified as Morry Matson, calling 911 on her.

In her post, Hudson said she tried to redeem a coupon for a free health product, but a manager said he thought it was fraudulent. Hudson asked for the employee’s name and job title and took her phone out to record what happened, according to her post. She wrote in her post that she followed the employee asking for an answer, but he went to the back of the store.  

A different manager told Hudson he called the police, according to her post.

In the video, Matson is seen speaking on the phone with a 911 dispatcher. Hudson is heard in the video telling Matson she would wait for the police to arrive, and she responded to him when he described her to the dispatcher as African American.

“I’m not African American. I’m black,” Hudson said in the video. “Black isn’t a bad word.”

Hudson couldn’t be reached for comment.

Police responded to the call and were informed that a female was threatening staff and refused to leave, according to Chicago Police Department officer Michelle Tannehill. No police report was filed, according to Tannehill in an email to The Phoenix.

A regional director at CVS apologized to Hudson and, after an internal investigation, two employees — including Matson — are no longer employed with the company, according to a CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis in an email to The Phoenix.

DeAngelis wouldn’t say if the employees resigned or were fired.

“What we can say is that they are no longer employed by CVS as a result of our investigation,” DeAngelis wrote.

DeAngelis didn’t name the other employee who was involved, but he said both were shift supervisors.

“CVS Pharmacy does not tolerate any practices that discriminate against any customer and we are committed to maintaining a welcoming and diverse environment in our stores,” DeAngelis wrote. “We have 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.

Matson claimed to be a delegate for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election and is running for alderman in the 48th ward, which includes the Edgewater neighborhood and part of Loyola’s campus, according to Block Club Chicago.

The email address and phone number on his campaign website appeared to be disconnected when The Phoenix tried to reach him for comment.

This incident comes in the wake of other high-profile cases of alleged racial discrimination this year.

Earlier this year, a woman called the police on an 8-year-old black girl who was selling water in San Francisco, and a white manager called the police on two black men waiting for friends at a Philadelphia Starbucks. Following public criticism of Starbucks, the company held racial bias prevention training at most of its U.S. locations.

Update: A previous version of this article said Matson was a delegate for Trump, according to Block Club Chicago. Block Club Chicago has since updated its reporting to say Matson claimed to be a delegate for Trump. The Phoenix updated its reporting accordingly.

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