An African-American couple who went to a store in St. Louis, Missouri, to get a money order were turned away after a white clerk insulted them and accused them of fraud.
Kellen Hill showed up at Concord Village Schnucks store to get a money order made for his rent. He told a white clerk, who was later identified as Travis Donahue, he needed to get a $1,100 money order and handed him his debit card. The white man denied the request and said there is risk of potential fraud.
The clerk further told him that in order to get a money order, Hill would have to bring in cash. Hill then called his girlfriend and asked her to bring in cash so they could get the money order.
His girlfriend bought the required amount of cash and Hill handed the money over to Donahue. However, he still refused to give them a money order.
Hill recorded the entire incident and posted it to Facebook.
The recorded videos showed that as the couple asked the reason behind his action, other customers voiced support of the black couple. Hill’s girlfriend can be seen crying in the video over the fact that she has the money but is still denied a money order.
A white customer then calms her down and tells the couple that they are good people. The customers then confront the white clerk and tell him that his action was wrong. They also offer to purchase a money order for the black couple but the clerk disagreed to that as well.
Hill then asked Donahue if it’s a new policy that has come into effect because he has never faced such a problem in the past. At first, the clerk agreed and said it is a new policy and when Hill asked him the exact date he lost his cool and shouted at him.
“I don't have to tell you any of this,” Donahue said.
Hill replied, “Racial profiling is not good, bro.”
Donahue denied he was racial profiling, and walked away to call the management. Other customers told Hill to take care of his girlfriend and file a complaint.
Hill also claimed in the post that Donahue called cops and tried to get them arrested. After a long argument, the clerk finally handed the couple a money order and Donahue was later terminated from his job.
Schnuck also issued an apology.
“Although the teammate was focused on the recent increase in fraud, once the customer produced cash for the transaction, the money order should have been sold without further issue. I want our customers to feel welcomed and respected in our stores and I sincerely apologize for how our customers were treated in this instance,” said CEO Todd Schnuck.
The issue comes just days after employees of a Nordstrom Rack store in Brentwood, Missouri, wrongly accused three black teenagers of stealing last week, stalking the teens as they were shopping for prom apparel.
Spotlight, Banner: Antara Foto/Hafidz Mubarak/via REUTERS