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Target Fires Security Officer Who Reported a Shoplifter Believed to be a Sheriff’s Deputy

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Dallas Northington and Target

Credit: Patrick Hoesly, flickr.com
CC BY 2.0 [Target photo cropped],
Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post [Dallas Northington photo]

by Tom Jackman, The Washington Post

Dallas Northington spent nearly eight years working for Target in loss prevention, roaming the stores and scanning the surveillance cameras. In an episode at the Leesburg Target store in May that he said was typical, a man was allegedly captured twice on video shoplifting, and Northington responded as he said he always did: He called the Leesburg police, made a report and provided them the videos of the two incidents.

But the man in the video may have been a Fairfax County sheriff’s deputy, Northington said he soon learned. And within days, two things happened: The deputy retired from the sheriff’s office and Target fired Northington, 29, a married father of two with a third child on the way.

Northington said Target officials told him that he had violated procedure by not filling out the proper paperwork before contacting the police, though he said his office had operated the same way for years. He said he also was told that he had been insubordinate for not seeking approval before calling police, though he said the standard practice was for him to act as needed.

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© 2014 The Washington Post

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