Dennis Stewart and Terrance Richardson visited a Walmart location in Conroe, Texas on Sept. 10 2020 to return a TV that was defective, but staff at the store accused them of stealing and called the police. They showed the receipt to the staff, but were handcuffed after the police showed up. Stewart is a church deacon and a former police officer, while Richardson is a church pastor.
"The police showed up, detained, and handcuffed both Dennis and Terrance in front of the store where other store customers looked on as they entered and exited the store," the suit reads. It has been claimed it took employees at the store an hour before they examined the receipt properly, and meanwhile the two men were instructed to put their hands on their head by four white officers. In the lawsuit, the two men alleged they were discriminated against and wrongfully imprisoned because of their race. When they were released, a Walmart employee allegedly told them to ‘[get the] fuck out of this store, and never come fucking back.’”
“Plaintiffs repeatedly asked for an explanation for being detained, searched, handcuffed and embarrassed in such a demeaning fashion, and also why the defective television was not allowed to be exchanged,” the lawsuit reads, adding that the two did not have their question answered. “It was at this point Dennis — a grown 50+year old man — began to cry and begged for answers." Additionally, they were not given an exchange or refund for the defective TV.
In a statement provided to NBC News, Walmart said it is taking the allegations seriously but would not comment further.
“We do not tolerate discrimination and take allegations like this seriously,” the company said on Friday, August 27. “When the claims were brought to our attention in April of this year, we investigated them. We are not getting into further detail given the litigation and will respond as appropriate with the court."