MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Mid-South woman is speaking for the first time after she says a parking lot dispute at a grocery ended with a man yelling racial slurs at her and then threatening to hang her from a tree.
“I was just so humiliated and so upset,” Vatosha Cavitt said. Six months later, she still feels like it happened yesterday.
“I was on my lunch break. I usually stop at Kroger over here to get something to eat,” she said.
She says on this particular day she placed her shopping cart in a nearby parking spot at the store at Winchester and Hacks Cross Road when a man started to yell and curse at her about taking up the space.
“I just hurried up and got in the car and when I did he swerved in front of me and kind of blocked me in,” she said. “He gets out comes to my passenger’s side, starts screaming and cursing at me.
Then things escalated.
“Before I knew it, he calls me a n****r … and he tells me that he would hang me from a tree,” she said.
Cavitt said she was finally able to pull around the man, but says he then followed her to her job. In fear for her life, she called police.
They identified the man as Clinton Jeffries.
Jeffries is charged with civil rights intimidation and assault. His next court appearance is scheduled for August.
“I was so mad that I did something about it. I felt like he should pay the price for that,” she said. “There should be justice and stuff like that people shouldn’t get away with it.”
We tried to speak with Jeffries at the address he gave police but no one came to the door.
Cavitt said it was important to pursue charges to prevent someone else from having a similar experience, because words hurt.
“You can’t talk to people like that. You can’t threaten them,” she said. “He made me feel as if I wasn’t wanted like I could not shop at this store.”