A Walmart employee is no longer on the job after being caught on video launching a racist verbal attack on a Black shopper.
The customer, who did not want to be identified, told KABC-TV the confrontation started after the employee asked him to check his receipt as he was leaving the Walmart store in Moreno Valley, California, last Wednesday. While he was getting the receipt, the employee, who is white, tried to block him, the man said.
“You people always trying to steal,” the customer recalled the employee saying before allegedly removing items from his shopping cart.
Walmart says it instilled its receipt-checking policy to curtail shop lifting and keep merchandise prices low.
However, customers are not legally bound to stop to show their receipts, legal experts say. Yet, store employees can demand to see the receipt or detain someone if they suspect them of theft. Some legal experts say refusing to show a receipt could be cause for suspicion.
Just a portion of the encounter was captured on cellphone video and published by the local TV station. It shows the employee rubbing the skin on his arm and seemingly saying the word “color” as he faces off with the shopper in front of an ice machine.
The report says the worker yelled the N-word at the customer repeatedly, which was censored in the video. The bystander, who is recording says, the customer told the employee, “Don’t call me a [inaudible].”
The employee also flings a package of paper towels in the man’s cart in the video.
“I was like ‘what are you doing?’… I chased him down, said give me my item and I took the item back from him, and then he went to my cart and took the other items out of my cart,” the customer told KABC-TV. ”So basically we’re fighting over the items… and then I said ‘Just give me a manager. Give me a manager.’”
Moreno Valley is a city of 211,600 in the greater Los Angeles area. U.S. Census data shows 32 percent of its population is white, and 17 percent is Black. Nearly 60 percent of the population is Latino, and 14.7 percent are white alone.
The customer filed an incident complaint, and Walmart spokesperson Robert Arrieta told The Los Angeles Times Monday that the enraged worker is no longer employed at the store.
“While we do not share specifics of employment decisions, the person in the video is no longer with the company,” Arrieta said, adding that Walmart does not “tolerate discrimination of any kind.”