While shopping for back-to-school supplies at Staples in Pineville, North Carolina, Shirell Bates was approached and questioned by an officer who suspected that she was hiding things underneath her shirt. Bates said that at first, she "'... thought he was joking, so my response was, 'twins.'" However she soon found out there was no humor in the officer's question at all.
Realizing that she was being accused of shoplifting, Bates said "'...I actually lifted my shirt just a little bit, just to expose my belly, so just he can see that I'm just a regular pregnant person buying school supplies.'" After being cleared of all suspicions, the store's manager confessed that they, according to CNN, "mistakenly accused" Bates as a result of previous customers who shoplifted.
CNN reported that the store's manager was fired for not "correctly" following protocol.
Staples apologized to Bates and gave her a full refund.