California woman sues Walmart of discrimination over locked hair - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

California woman sues Walmart of discrimination over locked hair products

Posted: Updated:
LOS ANGELES -

An African-American woman is suing Walmart for racial discrimination because the store where she shops keeps beauty products designed for black customers locked up, but not products. Cellphone video the woman took shows items under one dollar behind glass.

Famed attorney Gloria Allred filed the lawsuit Friday in California. Allred and her client, Essie Grundy, held a news conference Friday afternoon.

Grundy says she went to a Walmart in Perris, California, on January 12 to buy beauty products and found the items used by African-Americans were locked up behind glass. She says the beauty products for other races were easily available. Grundy says she had to wait to be assisted by a store associate who unlocked the case, removed the product, and relocked the case. Then accompanied her to the cash register. She said she wasn't allowed to touch the product until she purchased it.

"I was angry, sad, frustrated, and humiliated all at the same time. It was so emotional, it's hard to describe. I know there is a lot of racism out there, but I have never been faced with it up close. When I realized that Walmart was segregating all of our products from other products of other races, I felt not wanted, I felt that I belonged in a category, and as an African American I was not welcomed at Walmart," Grundy said Friday.

Grundy said she complained to an employee who allegedly told her the practice was a directive from corporate.

"Previously, Walmart has tried to justify this racial discrimination policy and practice by stating that, quote, 'The protective packaging was part of a normal practice to minimize theft of at-risk items,' end quote. We disagree. We believe that if Walmart is concerned about security it should lock up the shelves of all products. What appears to be racial profiling of African American customers must end. We think that it perpetuates a racial stereotype that African American customers should be suspected of being thieves and criminals," Allred said in the press conference.

Allred said they are seeking an undisclosed amount for damages and an injunction against Walmart.

Walmart responded to the claims, saying it does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.

"We serve more than 140 million customers weekly, crossing all demographics, and are focused on meeting their needs while providing the best shopping experience at each store. We’re sensitive to this situation and also understand, like other retailers, that some products such as electronics, automotive, cosmetics and other personal care products are subject to additional security. Those determinations are made on a store-by-store basis using data supporting the need for the heightened measures. While we’ve yet to review a complaint, we take this situation seriously and look forward to addressing it with the court," a spokesman said.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Coeur d'Alene Police investigating school shooting threat made on Snapchat

    Coeur d'Alene Police investigating school shooting threat made on Snapchat

    Friday, October 19 2018 1:04 AM EDT2018-10-19 05:04:39 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Coeur d'Alene Police are investigating a reported school shooting threat at Coeur d'Alene High School. A spokesperson for the district said that the threat was written on a napkin and shared  on Snapchat. It says: "CHS school shooting 10-19-18. Be ready." Police tell us that while they are still investigating whether the threat is credible, they do not believe the CHS that the note mentions is referring to Coeur d'Alene High School.

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Coeur d'Alene Police are investigating a reported school shooting threat at Coeur d'Alene High School. A spokesperson for the district said that the threat was written on a napkin and shared  on Snapchat. It says: "CHS school shooting 10-19-18. Be ready." Police tell us that while they are still investigating whether the threat is credible, they do not believe the CHS that the note mentions is referring to Coeur d'Alene High School.

    >>
  • Explosive device that caused CdA evacuations rendered safe

    Explosive device that caused CdA evacuations rendered safe

    Friday, October 19 2018 6:51 PM EDT2018-10-19 22:51:23 GMT

    Ramsey Elementary and Coeur d' Alene Police station have been evacuated after an explosive device was brought to the station for disposal. Police have called in a bomb squad to dispose of the device and evacuated the buildings as a precaution. Coeur d' Alene School District released the following statement regarding the situation: 

    >>

    Ramsey Elementary and Coeur d' Alene Police station have been evacuated after an explosive device was brought to the station for disposal. Police have called in a bomb squad to dispose of the device and evacuated the buildings as a precaution. Coeur d' Alene School District released the following statement regarding the situation: 

    >>
  • K9 Laslo passes away

    K9 Laslo passes away

    Friday, October 19 2018 10:50 PM EDT2018-10-20 02:50:33 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - After struggling with medical issues recently, retired Spokane County Sheriff's Office K9 Laslo passed away early Friday morning.  "It is with the most heavy heart that I tell you K9 Laslo passed away this morning at 0115hrs," a post on Laslo's Facebook page said Friday morning. "There will be a piece of my heart always missing. To the best partner I ever had, R.I.P." 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - After struggling with medical issues recently, retired Spokane County Sheriff's Office K9 Laslo passed away early Friday morning.  "It is with the most heavy heart that I tell you K9 Laslo passed away this morning at 0115hrs," a post on Laslo's Facebook page said Friday morning. "There will be a piece of my heart always missing. To the best partner I ever had, R.I.P." 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Community honors fallen K-9 Laslo

    Community honors fallen K-9 Laslo

    Saturday, October 20 2018 9:30 PM EDT2018-10-21 01:30:41 GMT

    Otis Orchards, Wash. Dozens of people came to Ponti Veterinary Hospital in Otis Orchards to pay their final respects to Deputy K-9 Laslo. Some brought the American flag and the thin blue line flag which flapped in the wind. Deputy vehicles lined the side of the building ready to give Laslo one last send off. Laslo had a stellar career in law enforcement the former deputy apprehended nearly 500 suspects in the four years he served on the force. On the night of Laslo's crime-fighting...

    >>

    Otis Orchards, Wash. Dozens of people came to Ponti Veterinary Hospital in Otis Orchards to pay their final respects to Deputy K-9 Laslo. Some brought the American flag and the thin blue line flag which flapped in the wind. Deputy vehicles lined the side of the building ready to give Laslo one last send off. Laslo had a stellar career in law enforcement the former deputy apprehended nearly 500 suspects in the four years he served on the force. On the night of Laslo's crime-fighting...

    >>
  • Georgia officer killed while responding to suspicious vehicle near middle school

    Georgia officer killed while responding to suspicious vehicle near middle school

    Saturday, October 20 2018 8:42 PM EDT2018-10-21 00:42:35 GMT
    Courtesy of Georgia Fraternal Order of PoliceCourtesy of Georgia Fraternal Order of Police

    A Georgia police officer has been killed after being shot while responding to a suspicious vehicle parked near a middle school. News outlets report multiple law enforcement agencies are searching for suspects following the Saturday afternoon shooting near Snellville.  Police say Gwinnett County police officer Antwan Toney died at a hospital. The 30-year-old had been with the department for nearly three years. 

    >>

    A Georgia police officer has been killed after being shot while responding to a suspicious vehicle parked near a middle school. News outlets report multiple law enforcement agencies are searching for suspects following the Saturday afternoon shooting near Snellville.  Police say Gwinnett County police officer Antwan Toney died at a hospital. The 30-year-old had been with the department for nearly three years. 

    >>
  • Florida suspect led police on lengthy chase after firing at an officer

    Florida suspect led police on lengthy chase after firing at an officer

    Saturday, October 20 2018 8:30 PM EDT2018-10-21 00:30:02 GMT

    Police in South Florida say a suspect fired at an officer, led authorities on a lengthy chase on Florida's Turnpike and then suffered an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Miami-Dade County Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta tells The Miami Herald that the suspect began to fire Saturday at an officer who tried to approach the driver after noticing a crash. 

    >>

    Police in South Florida say a suspect fired at an officer, led authorities on a lengthy chase on Florida's Turnpike and then suffered an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Miami-Dade County Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta tells The Miami Herald that the suspect began to fire Saturday at an officer who tried to approach the driver after noticing a crash. 

    >>