"All Black People" Asked to Leave S. Jersey Wal-Mart

Store is looking at security video to figure out who made the announcement

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2010  |  Updated 9:41 PM EDT
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Wal-Mart officials are looking at security tapes after an announcement was made for "all black people'' to leave a store in South Jersey.

A man used the public-address system at the Route 42 store in Washington Township Sunday night and calmly announced: "Attention Wal-Mart customers: All black people leave the store now.''

Patricia Covington and Shelia Ellington were inside the store when it happened and told the Courier Post that customers and store employees looked stunned when they heard it.

"In 2010, I want to know why such statements are being made because it flies in the face of what we teach them [our kids] at home, and that's tolerance for people," said Ellington.

Ellington and other customers let store management and police know they were upset. 

They asked the store to use the same announcement system to apologize to customers that night, which it did.

Wal-Mart management called the incident "unacceptable," and said it's working to make sure nothing like this happens at any other stores.

Washington Township police and the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office are investigating the incident as a possible bias crime.

"I can't believe it in this day and age," Covington told the paper. "Wal-Mart needs to be more responsible."

Covington and Elllington are boycotting the store.

UPDATEWomen who are boycotting the store after hearing the message speak out.

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