Old Navy Store Closes After Man Exposes Racial Profiling in Viral Post
James Conley III claims he was racially profiled at an Old Navy in West Des Moines. He posted a series of recordings from his time at the store to his Facebook page where Conley says the employees thought he was wearing unpurchased clothes because he is black.
In detailing the ordeal to KCCI News, Conley says, “I found two hoodies, and I went to the cash register to check out, and I was asked if I (was) going to purchase the jacket I had on.” He was wearing an Old Navy jacket that he received as a Christmas gift, one in which he entered the store wearing.
Conley says he thought the employee was making a joke by asking the question. However, he was told the jacket needed to be scanned because it was an Old Navy item.
Once the jacket was scanned, some employees tried to make him pay for it. The issue was only resolved after the supervisor of the store reviewed camera footage and verified that Conley walked into the store wearing the jacket.
“There were customers, Caucasian, in front of me and behind me who had on Old Navy apparel similar to what I had on, and they didn’t get checked or anything,” Conley said as the reasoning to why he felt he was discriminated against.
He adds that he didn’t receive an apology from the employees, the store or district manager. His post was shared close to 100,000 times, and the store was temporarily closed after the video went viral.
A spokesperson for Gap Inc. released a statement in response to the allegation saying, “At Old Navy, and across Gap Inc., we maintain a ‘zero means zero’ policy, and we are actively investigating the situation.We are a company made up of diverse people – from all backgrounds and cultures,” the statement continued. “We encourage diversity in thought, celebrate diversity in each other and demand tolerance and inclusion, always.”
The store has since been reopened, and Conley has retained a lawyer.
Here’s the viral post: