A California woman has teamed up with Gloria Allred to sue Walmart for racial discrimination because ethnic hair products at some locations are locked up and require an employee to access them.
CBS Los Angeles reports Essie Grundy was attempted to purchase a lotion at a Walmart location in Perris when she noticed the lotion was locked up behind glass. When she tried to purchase a 48 cent comb at a later date, she noticed the item was reportedly also behind the glass.
“I just feel that we need to be treated equally,” Grundy said at a press conference. Grundy said she “noticed all of the African-Americans products was locked up under lock and key.”
Allred claimed locking up certain items violates the California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act. She said the products were “segregated” from the products for other races.
Other people also shared their stories of Walmart allegedly discriminating against black people at their local stores:
.@Walmart Do you want to explain why one of your stores has locks on ONLY the black hair care products?— Detrick Manning 🌺 (@DetrickManning) January 25, 2018
In case you weren't aware, this is racist and wrong. pic.twitter.com/T59cjr1bbT
If Walmart is gonna lock up hair products they need to do it for all of them not only the ethnic hair products pic.twitter.com/XcnajuNNsV— Khadijah (@Kadia2_) January 22, 2018
In a statement to Business Insider, Walmart said “some products such as electronics, automotive, cosmetics and other personal care products are subject to additional security.” They also claimed the decision to lock up items is made using data and on a “store-by-store basis.
Walmart said they “look forward to addressing it with the court.”