David Conners, a Black Clayton County corrections officer​ in Georgia, has filed a lawsuit against a Georgia Walmart store for racial profiling.  According to Conners he was shopping for home decor when a Fayetteville Police Department officer stopped him, saying store employees believed he was a man with the last name “Wright” who had repeated stolen electronics from the store.

According to the lawsuit, officers handcuffed him while investigating claims made by Walmart employees the he was the serial shoplifter. Conners gave the arresting officers two pieces of identification, one of which showed he was a local correction officer, but he was still taken to another room and held while officers investigated.

Terrance Madden, an attorney for Conners, told ABC News in an interview, “He’s (Conners) just in the store, minding his own business, when he’s approached by the police, and everything went downhill from there.”

While being detained, the officers showed Conners footage of the shoplifter that employee’s thought was him.  Conners pointed out that he has visible tattoos, while the alleged shoplifter didn’t. But it wasn’t until later that the officers called someone familiar with the case who confirmed Conners wasn’t the shoplifter and was released. Madden said a warrant had already been issued for that individual.

Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove said in a statement to ABC News, “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.”

Conners said Walmart nor the employee who called police have apologized for the incident. Conner’s also said. “Since this incident he has sought professional counseling to cope with the mental and psychological trauma as a result of this incident.” Conner’s added, “The incident has given me a new perspective on the prevalence and impact of racial profiling, as a law enforcement officer myself.”

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

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Lawrence G. Miljkovic
Lawrence G. Miljkovic
5 months ago

He was not a victim of racial profiling, but mistaken identification, because the perpetrator, was the same race. He was part of the investigation, and detained for probable cause… He was not falsely arrested.

5 months ago

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