A DeKalb County jury has awarded an Atlanta musician $600,000 in a lawsuit filed over a 2008 racial profiling incident at the Dillard’s store in Perimeter Mall.
Damien Solomon, 36, sued the department store after being falsely accused of shoplifting a pair of Levi’s jeans, and subsequently arrested in the case, according to court documents.
Solomon told the Atlanta
Journal-Constitution he’s still trying to clear his name from the criminal
charges. He said he pursued the lawsuit because companies like Dillard’s
shouldn’t be able to bully people
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Solomon told the newspaper. “I’m trying to make sure people don’t have his problem in the future, because I’d hate to see someone else go through this.”
Solomon, who is black, said when he left Dillard’s his hands were empty, and video surveillance makes it clear that he did not take anything.
“I didn’t have a bag, I didn’t have a coat and I didn’t have on a sweatshirt or anything,” he said. “I couldn’t have hidden anything. So why’d they pick me? Why did they do this to me?”
Solomon’s lawyer, James Hugh Potts II, said the store fabricated a story and kept spinning the same lie for five years.
The verdict included $250,000 in general damages and $350,000 in punitive damages.