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Parents sue Wal-Mart, police over shoplifting stop

Parents of mentally disabled woman sue Wal-Mart, police after Detroit-area shoplifting stop

LIVONIA, Mich.  — The parents of a mentally disabled woman are suing Wal-Mart and police after she was stopped for suspected shoplifting at a Detroit-area store.

Wendy Kozma of Novi tells the Detroit Free Press her 25-year-old daughter, Jodi, who has the mental capacity of an 8-year-old, now is terrified of police after being handcuffed and questioned at a Wal-Mart in Livonia. Records show she didn’t steal anything.

Wendy and John Kozma want an apology along with unspecified financial damages and assurance that police and store security follow proper procedures when dealing with disabled people. They filed a complaint with police in August 2012, when their daughter was stopped, and recently sued.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart says it believes its associates acted appropriately. Livonia police sent a letter to the Kozmas denying wrongdoing.

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