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Walmart Ordered to Pay Man $4.4 Million Settlement in Racial Profiling Suit

A grand jury in Multnomah County, Oregon, has ordered Walmart to pay $4.4 million in damages to a Black man who sued the retailer last year, alleging that he was racially profiled while shopping. The verdict was entered last week, according to Walmart.

Michael Mangum, a Black man, sued Walmart in December 2021 regarding an alleged incident in March 2020, during which he claimed he was “spied” upon and followed around by an employee of the store while he shopped. According to the suit, this Walmart employee ordered Mangum to leave the store and also called security to have Mangum removed, despite allegedly admitting to an operator dispatcher that Mangum was not acting violently.

The suit described the conduct of the Walmart employee as a “wanton, reckless and intentional disregard of societal obligations” and noted that Mangum “may permanently suffer from feelings of racial stigmatization, embarrassment, humiliation, anger, indignity and shame.”

A Walmart spokesperson said in a statement to FN that the company does not tolerate discrimination and finds the verdict to be “excessive” and “not supported by the evidence.”

“Mr. Mangum was never stopped by Walmart’s Asset Protection,” the spokesperson said. “He interfered with our associates as they were surveilling and then stopped confirmed shoplifters, and then refused to leave despite being asked to repeatedly by our staff and Multnomah County deputies. We are reviewing our options including post-trial motions.”

FN has reached out Mangum’s lawyer for a comment.

This is the latest public legal spat to arise concerning Walmart in recent weeks. In July, a Walmart shopper sued the superstore for an alleged incident that led to her being hit with shopping carts by an employee.

And in June, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued Walmart for “turning a blind eye” to scammers who used the company’s money transfer system to steal from customers. The FTC also fined Walmart $2.5 million in civil penalties in May in light of allegations that the retailer misled consumers by falsely marketing some products as bamboo.

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