WalMart officials are conducting an investigation after someone used the public address system to make an announcement asking “all black people” to leave a store in South Jersey.
On Sunday night at the Route 42 store in Washington Township, a man announced: “Attention WalMart customers: All black people leave the store now.”
Patricia Covington and Shelia Ellington were shopping at the store when the incident occurred. The two friends said that customers and employees looked shocked when they heard the announcement.
“In 2010, I want to know why such statements are being made because it flies in the face of what we teach them [our kids] at home, and that’s tolerance for people,” said Ellington.
Ellington and other customers were so upset, they asked the store to use the same P.A. system to apologize to customers that same night, which it did.
Ashley Hardie, a corporate spokesperson for WalMart, described the incident at the Route 42 store as “unacceptable to us and to our customers. We are currently reviewing our systems to prevent this from happening in the future,” she said.
Washington Township police and the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office are now investigating the incident as a possible bias crime.
“I can’t believe it in this day and age,” Covington said. “WalMart needs to be more responsible.”
Covington and Elllington are boycotting the store.
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