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David Leavitt, whose Twitter bio says he is an award-winning journalist, is getting flamed for publicly shaming a Target employee over a toothbrush dispute.
Leavitt saw a display for an Oral-B Electric Toothbrush priced at one cent and tried to bully the store manager, Tori, into “honoring the price.”
Tori explained that the penny price was for the display, not the actual toothbrush.
In response, Leavitt said he called the police, then tweeted out a photo of Tori to his over 200,000 followers.
In his Twitter tirade against Tori, Leavitt quotes a Massachusetts pricing law, announces his intent to sue Target, and claims he has not been able to afford a visit to the dentist in over three years.
“This @target manager Tori is not honoring the price of their items per massachusetts law,” Leavitt tweeted, along with a photo of the toothbrush display and Tori, as well as a screenshot of the law. “I just had to call the police because @Target Refused to sell me the toothbrush.”
I just had to call the police because @target Refused to sell me the toothbrush— David Leavitt (@David_Leavitt) January 17, 2020
According to Leavitt’s screenshots, “DISPLAY” is written on the price tag. Leavitt later clarified that he called the “business number for the police,” not 911.
He claimed the reporting police officer urged him to sue Target, made a “verified report” so that he can take it to court, and said they would testify on Leavitt’s behalf.
“I have not been able to afford to go to a dentist in over three years. So yes I wanted a good toothbrush and was thrilled to see such an amazing prize on an @OralBbut @target refused to honor it and now I have to take them to court,” Leavitt tweeted, ending the thread.
The police verified @target displayed the price of toothbrush for $0.01 The store manager Tori refused to sell me the toothbrush for displayed price. The police said I need to sue them and that they are making me a verified report take to court @BBBConnection @AskTarget— David Leavitt (@David_Leavitt) January 17, 2020
I have not been able to afford to go to a dentist in over three years. So yes I wanted a good toothbrush and was thrilled to see such an amazing prize on an @OralB but @target refused to honor it and now I have to take them to court— David Leavitt (@David_Leavitt) January 17, 2020
Leavitt’s thread is getting ratioed, with many criticizing him for being “petty.” They also tried to educate Leavitt on the difference between displays and purchasable items.
“It clearly says display… you taking it this far is an embarrassing level of petty that I can’t comprehend,” Twitter user @rons_mkay said. “Also want to highlight the privilege attached to calling the damn police on this, and putting that girl’s face out here.”
It clearly says display... you taking it this far is an embarrassing level of petty that I can't comprehend.— Ron S (@rons_mkay) January 17, 2020
Also want to highlight the privilege attached to calling the damn police on this, and putting that girl's face out here. pic.twitter.com/zkVTC6g8k9
LEARN TO READ.— Bob (2̶3̶ ̶S̶K̶I̶D̶O̶O̶) Dobbs (@BobDobbs777) January 17, 2020
Why are you so dense and petty? pic.twitter.com/1aYmj5PnOi
There is no way the police verified that. Here. Let me show you a key word on that product tag. You do not have a display in your hand, bro. pic.twitter.com/VqAYLaEhh8— Julie Niesen (@winemedineme) January 17, 2020
Many also dubbed his behavior harassment and urged the journalist to delete Tori’s picture.
“It’s more than ‘petty,'” Twitter user @CryptoJoules wrote. “It’s targeted harassment of a woman (slight pun intended).”
Twitter users also questioned Leavitt’s claim about being too poor to see a dentist.
“So, you haven’t been able to afford to go to dentist for 3 years? How do you explain this tweet? Do you just harass random dental offices you’re not attending?” Twitter user @Rita Panahi wrote, along with a screenshot of one of Leavitt’s old tweets. In the tweet, Leavitt claimed that “You are winning when you get the dentist’s office waiting room to turn off Fox News.”
Over 3 years, huh? 🤔🧐 pic.twitter.com/nC94v2jy4e— Sports ReUp (@SportsReUp) January 17, 2020
So, you haven’t been able to afford to go to dentist for 3 years? How do you explain this tweet? Do you just harass random dental offices you’re not attending?— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) January 18, 2020
Plus it was a “display price”...do the decent thing (for her & you) and delete her photo & this entire thread. pic.twitter.com/Yi4uOdT8Pm
Twitter users also began retweeting a similar incident in which Leavitt tried to shame another retail employee. In December 2018, Leavitt tweeted out the contact information of a Walmart assistant manager for “refusing to honor a price match on a Nintendo Switch.”
“Holy shit dude how many times have you tried to pull this stunt,” Twitter user @diggonotdiego questioned.
Holy shit dude how many times have you tried to pull this stunt— Diego 🇵🇷 (@diggonotdiego) January 17, 2020
It APPEARS that this is your second job...going after retailers— mishanti2 (@mishanti2) January 17, 2020
It has not been confirmed whether Leavitt was simply trolling, as he is a noted Twiter troll, but in the end, Tori came out the winner. Along with people tweeting in solidarity with #TargetTori, a GoFundMe has been set up in her name so that she can go on a likely much-needed vacation. It has raised well over its goal of $5,000.
Tiffanie Drayton is a geek culture and lifestyle reporter whose work covers everything from gender and race to anime and Xbox. Her work has appeared in Complex, Salon, Marie Claire, Playboy, and elsewhere.