This Man Claims Old Navy Accused Him of Stealing His Own Jacket Just Because He's Black


James Conley III/Facebook

Even though it's 2018, some brands are still tone-deaf when it comes to racial insensitivity. Old Navy is the latest to be added to that list after some of its employees from an Iowa location allegedly racially profiled a man on Tuesday -- and he caught the entire ordeal on camera.

  • On Facebook, James Conley III shared how he went to the Old Navy at Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines, Iowa, to look at some hoodies, but instead was accused of not paying for the jacket he wore into the store.

    Employees asked him if he wanted to purchase the blue jacket he was wearing. "First, I started laughing because I didn't believe what I was hearing," he wrote on Facebook. 

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  • "The store manager, Beau Carter, was very unprofessional and stereotyped me because I was a black male," he continued.

    Carter reportedly insisted that all people who wear Old Navy attire into the store have to be scanned to make sure they're not stealing it.

    "Every time I go to this store, I have on my same exact winter blue jacket and have never been asked to scan my clothing and the previous 'non-black' customers had on identical apparel as me from Old Navy but was never asked to scan their clothing," Conley III wrote. 

  • It didn't just end at the scanning either.

    After the employees tried to make Conley III repay for his jacket and he refused, the district manager came over to check the surveillance tape to prove that Conley III did indeed walk in with his jacket on.

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    After all of that, Conley III said the employees never even apologized, and in the video, you can hear them telling him he can't record in the store. 

  • In the comments of Conley III's photos and videos, people praised him for how he handled the situation and for bringing awareness to racial profiling.

    "People still don't believe it happens," another person commented.

    "That is how progress is made!" someone else said. "Hit them where it hurts and exposing them is even better! So proud at how you handled the situation!!"

  • After the posts went viral, the store was temporarily closed on Wednesday, but reopened on Thursday.

    A representative for Old Navy tells CafeMom in an email that the brand reached out to Conley III to apologize for what happened, and that an investigation is currently under way.  

    "Old Navy is a brand that stands for inclusivity and is deeply committed to ensuring all shoppers and employees are treated with respect and dignity," the representative, Liz Nunan, says. "We are conducting a thorough investigation of the incident and are connecting with our teams to reiterate who we are as a brand and what we stand for. The investigation is ongoing; however, we can assure you discrimination of any kind is a direct violation of company policy. Profiling is not tolerated in our stores, and we will swiftly take action in accordance with our policies, beliefs and values."

    According to the Des Moines Register, Conley III is being represented by the Parrish Kruidenier law firm and will release a statement after legal consultation. 

    CafeMom reached out to Conley III but has yet to receive a comment. 
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