Donnell Battie is suing Walmart for one million dollars after experiencing trauma pursuant to a 2010 incident which involved a local Walmart store announcing over the public address system that all black people must leave the store.
In his suit Battie asserts that Wal-Mart was negligent, careless, reckless and showed deliberate indifference in not controlling access to its PA system. At the time of the incident, a store manager apologized for the transgression, but not before local police officers arrived and a 16 year old arrested for harassment and bias intimidation charges.
Since the event, Battie is said to have lost sleep, his appetite and to experience paranoia as well as suffer depression.
Offered a Wal-Mart spokesperson, Greg Rossiter:
‘We were appalled by this incident and are amazed that anyone could be so backward and mean-spirited in this day and age.
‘We are sorry it happened and apologised at the time to any of our customers and associates who heard it.
‘We updated our intercom system in this store to prevent this from happening in the future.’
With regards to Battie’s lawsuit, the outlet asserts that his mental well being and mental condition are not relevant in this instance. Battie on the other hand asserts otherwise. Of course what is left unsaid is that the boy’s disingenuous behavior which led to the ‘prank,’ is an undercurrent feeling towards the black community whether it is openly acknowledged or not. That said it might be a bit of a stretch for Mr Battie to try and pin the ills of society and negative stereotyping on a super store like Wal-Mart who in and of itself has a less than stellar reputation towards labor rights.