Mom sues Walmart to end policy of locking up, ‘segregating’ beauty products

LOS ANGELES (CNN Newsource) — A woman in California has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Walmart.

The issue is that many beauty products primarily used by African-Americans are kept under lock and key, but those without ethnic packaging are out in the open, she says.

The Walmart in Perris, California is just minutes from Essie Grundy’s home.

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But Grundy was in for a big surprise when she came here on her birthday two weeks ago, looking for a certain lotion she saw at a Riverside Walmart.

“I couldn’t reach it, I couldn’t touch it, I couldn’t read ingredients,” Grundy said.

That’s because that lotion and other skin and hair products designed to appeal to African-Americans were behind glass, under lock and key — and not because they are incredibly expensive items either.

The mother of five said she’s upset because she feels African Americans are being treated like potential thieves and criminals.

“This comb here is 48 cents, but they put it under lock and key, 48 cents!” said Grundy, who was appalled.

The items targeting African-Americans are locked up while other items for anyone else are totally accessible.

“I just feel that we need to be treated equally and it’s no way we should be treated this way just because of our complexion.”

Gloria Allred filed a discrimination lawsuit on Grundy’s behalf against Walmart Friday.

Here is what supervisors at this store told her and Walmart put in its response to the lawsuit:

“Some products such as electronics, automotive, cosmetics and other personal care products are subject to additional security.
Those determinations are made on a store-by-store basis.
While we’ve yet to review a complaint, we take this situation seriously and look forward to addressing it with the court.”

Allred says Grundy wants an apology and a court injunction that would change Walmart’s practice.

A Walmart spokesman says the company does not discriminate.

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