Dennis Stewart went to his local Walmart in Conroe, TX, last year and bought a 58-inch TV. When he got it home, he saw that it wasn’t working properly, and decided to exchange it. It was a big TV, so he enlisted his buddy Terence Richardson to return it. They brought the TV and the receipt to the customer service counter. An hour later, they still hadn’t gotten a new TV, but the police arrived and put them in handcuffs, NBC News reports Stewart and Richardson are Black. The employees behind the customer service counter are white, according to a lawsuit they filed against Walmart. The suit says the Walmart employee accused them of stealing the $300 TV.
Stewart, a former cop and deacon in his church, and Richardson, a pastor, were cuffed out in front of the store, which their suit says “dehumanized” them and “made them appear to be criminals.” They don’t say how long they were detained before Stewart was upset enough to cry a little, but it does say they waited up to an hour. They say they were told to sign a “Criminal Trespass Warning” acknowledging they’d be arrested if they came back to the store before they were allowed to leave. Walmart said in a statement that it knows about the case and takes the allegations seriously, CBS News reports. The lawsuit claims intentional infliction of emotional distress—and breach of contract. Stewart never got his $300 TV. (Read more racial discrimination stories.)