A recent incident in a St. Cloud, Florida Walmart has gone viral and captured the attention of not only the local community but the nation. A St. Cloud police officer went to the local Walmart store, in uniform, to shop and when he got in a checkout line was shocked to be refused service by the cashier. The police officer stated that he approached another Walmart employee about the incident, but was laughed off by that employee as well. The police officer said the cashier pointed to their skin and then stated that they would not serve them. After mentioning the incident to a friend and filing a formal complaint the incident went viral and was shared across the internet.
The St. Cloud Police Station posted about the incident that was reported by their police officer, and that they were making a formal complaint in support of the officer directly to Walmart. The Chief of Police reminded the community of all that its police officers do, that they aim to serve and protect and deserve to be served and not be refused service when they are out as regular citizens or on duty. The post to Facebook quickly spread to local Facebook groups where members of the community chimed in on the specific type of discrimination the officer received and joined the department in urging Walmart to respond to the incident. A lot of speculation also was raised about the specific reasons for the cashier and second employee refusing service and then refusing to address the complaint made at the moment, at the Walmart store in question. Local residents that shop at the store voiced their own concerns over the potential of being refused service by any specific employee that was employed at the store, for whatever personal reasons an employee might have.
Not long after making the complaint and posting about the incident, Walmart rightfully reached out to the police department, the community, and the police officer in question. Walmart stores issued a statement apologizing for the incident and the way in which it was immediately handled, it then assured the department and the community that it does not tolerate discrimination in any of its stores, and finally that the employee in question had been fired due to the incident. Furthermore, the management at the Walmart store met with the police chief to assure the department that they are committed to training their employees in non-discriminatory practices and to discuss ways in which the store and the department can continue to work together. Everyone involved was pleased with the way the situation was handled and the outcome. Furthermore, the new manager has assured the community that they will do their best to ensure that no shoppers will have to go through the same incidents while in their stores going forward.