Black Officer Sues Walmart In Alleged Racial Profiling Incident

The corrections officer says he was traumatized by the experience.

A Black corrections office is suing Walmart, alleging that he was racially profiled while shopping at one of the mega retailer’s stores in Georgia.

According to the lawsuit, it all started when David Conners was browsing through the home decor aisle, ABC News reports. Store employees suspected that the Clayton County corrections officer was a man who had stolen electronic items from the store several times in the past. They alerted the police.

"He's just in the store, minding his own business when he's approached by the police, and everything went downhill from there," Terance Madden, Conners’ lawyer, told ABC.

It was a case of mistaken identity, Conners explained to the Fayetteville Police Department officer who handcuffed him. A warrant had already been issued for the serial shoplifter, whose last name is Wright. It didn’t matter to the officer that Conners showed two pieces of ID, including one that identified him as a corrections officer, the lawsuit alleges.

While detained in a room, the investigating officer showed Conners surveillance video of the actual thief. Conners asserted his innocence by pointing out to the police that he has visible tattoos, but the shoplifter in the video didn’t. The officer still wasn’t convinced until calling someone familiar with the case who confirmed that Conners was not the suspected thief.

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Conners said the experience traumatized him, and now he's in need of professional counseling. He believes his skin color was the reason for the mistreatment.

"You see it all the time, but you never believe it's going to happen to you until it happens to you," Madden added. "It becomes personal, and a violation is something you can't help to think about over and over and over again when it happens to you."

Meanwhile, Conners is still waiting for an apology from the store employee and Walmart.

Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove stated, "We don't tolerate discrimination of any kind and take allegations like this seriously. We are not going to comment further on this pending litigation."

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