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A pedestrian passes by the Target store on Minneapolis’s Nicollet Mall.

A pedestrian passes by the Target store on Minneapolis’s Nicollet Mall.

Photographer: Simone Lueck for Bloomberg Businessweek
Businessweek
The Big Take

How Target Got Cozy With the Cops, Turning Black Neighbors Into Suspects

For years, America’s most upbeat retailer funded surveillance to make inner cities safe—for some. Now it’s trying to convince people of color that it’s changed.

Before police Sergeant Alice White assigns officers to work off duty at the East Lake Street Target store in South Minneapolis, they get what Target calls values training. Included are specific instructions for greeting customers with a smile and a friendly hello. It’s an unusual script for Minneapolis cops, who are known for adopting a more intimidating posture. That’s certainly been the case at some Targets. But in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 by a Minneapolis policeman, Target Corp. is trying to recalibrate.

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