WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (KRON/CNN) — San Francisco-based retailer Old Navy is facing backlash on Thursday night.
In a viral post online, a man says he was racially profiled by an Old Navy store manager.
Now, that store in Iowa is temporarily shut down.
Shoppers ended up stopping in their tracks when a sign in the window read, “Temporarily Closed.”
It is a move that could be traced to what happened to James Conley.
“I found two hoodies, and I went to the cash register to check out,” Conley said, “when I was asked if I am going to purchase the jacket I (already) had on.”
Conley thought maybe it was a joke that he was asked about the jacket.
He says he wore that jacket into the store before, a jacket he bought at Old Navy as a Christmas gift for himself.
It wasn’t a joke.
“The manager proceeded to say anytime anyone has Old Navy apparel on, they have to scan it,” Conley said.
Something, he later learned, may not have been true.
“There were customers that were caucasian before me and behind me that had on Old Navy apparel similar to what I had, and they didn’t get checked or anything,” Conley said.
He says employees scanned his coat and tried to make him pay for it.
He said the stalemate ended when he offered a solution.
“I feel like I am being stereotyped as a black man, and I shouldn’t be,” Conley said. “If you guys have surveillance cameras or tape, you can go look. Can you please go do that?
A manager looked at security tapes and found Conley had worn the jacket when he entered the store, essentially ending the situation.
“So, I am fine to leave with my jacket on?” Conley said.
He says he still feels disrespected.
“I didn’t get any apology from the district manager, the store manager or the other employees,” Conley said.
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