Old Navy announced Saturday that they had dismissed three employees from one of their Iowa stores after a customer said he had been racially profiled.
The customer, James Conley III, claimed that he was accused for trying to steal an Old Navy jacket that he wore into the company’s West Des Moines store, he said in a Facebook Post.
“As I was checking out to purchase some hoodies, I was asked if I wanted to also purchase the jacket that I was wearing,” he wrote. The store manager, Conley says, “was very unprofessional and stereotyped me because I was a Black male.”
Conley eventually had to ask the district manager to pull the surveillance tape to prove that he had walked in with the jacket.
“I made her check the surveillance tape to prove that her and her fellow employees were in the wrong for racially profiling me because of the color of my skin,“ Conley wrote. ”Once she confirmed that I was telling the truth (after watching the tape) she never came back out to apologize to me nor did the store manager.”
Conley’s post went viral on Tuesday, forcing Gap Inc., which owns Old Navy, to shutdown the Jordan Creek Mall location on Wednesday. The reopened Thursday after a thorough investigation. The company updated its Facebook page Saturday to apologize to Conley.
They also fired three of the employees involved, The Des Moines Register reports.
”The situation was a violation of our policies and values, and we apologize to both Mr. Conley and to those we’ve disappointed,” Old Navy said in the post. ”All of our customers deserve to be treated with respect.“
At a joint news conference with the NAACP on Thursday, Conley said he would be filing a lawsuit against the company.