Recently, Attorney Daniel Hochheiser was hired to represent a woman who claims that she was racially profiled, falsely arrested and forcefully separated from her son after the employees of a Macy's store in New York City accused her of stealing. According to María Páez, a 42-year-old woman from Venezuela, she was subjected to a procedure known as the "shop and frisk," which store employees are allegedly taught to use when investigating potential shoplifters. Páez explains that she first entered the store on September 10, spending about $800. Two days later, she returned with her 12-year-old son. After trying on various garments, she placed them in a plastic Macy's bag and continued shopping. Shortly thereafter, two women approached Páez, aggressively handcuffed her and took her to a holding cell.
The woman claims that she was not allowed to contact her son, who was shopping on another floor, while she was being held by store employees. Hours later, the police arrived and officially arrested her on the charge of criminal possession of stolen property and petit larceny. Páez claims that she never walked out of the store with the clothes, and that she was detained before she had the chance to take her plastic Macy's bag to the check-out counter. What was more concerning to Páez, however, is the level of treatment that she received. According to her statement, "It was a terrible experience. I was treated in a violent manner [and they] passed me like a criminal in front of everyone. It was very embarrassing." It is for this reason that she has since launched a civil lawsuit against the store.
Fortunately, María Páez is in good hands. You can learn more about Attorney Daniel Hochheiser's involvement in this case by reading the full article here.