The Monday death of George Floyd after a police officer pinned his neck to the ground has sparked national outrage. Protests occurred in Minneapolis, where the incident took place, and in other cities like Chicago, Illinois. Protestors in Minneapolis have especially faced violence from police, including being hit with tear gas and rubber bullets.
Photos surfaced online and ABC 7 Chicago appeared to cover the situation with a Facebook Live feed. Various people commented on the protests, however, one comment stood out with its violently racist message. A Facebook user by the name of Claire Walden posted in the feed, “Shoot them on the spot. No need for Negro.”
The comment caused a wave of action, including calls from many Facebook users to have Walden fired from her job.
Initially, it was believed that she worked at Dave & Buster’s. The nationwide restaurant and gaming venue was flooded with comments on their social media.
However, the company eventually released a statement on their Facebook page, reading:
“After an internal review, we can confirm the individual in question has never been employed by Dave & Buster’s. We highly value the diversity of our guests, team members — and all human beings. We do not, and will not, tolerate racism of any form and appreciate those who spoke up and brought this issue to our attention.”
Eventually, other users determined that Walden worked at Publix in Florida and soon, the supermarket chain started receiving comments as well.
“Hey Publix .. do we need to start shopping at other establishments,” one such comment read. “There are racists working in your store. Quite unsafe for people of color. Will Claire be terminated immediately or should we all find new places to shop?”
Publix responded to many of the Facebook comments with comments of their own. One read:
“Please know, matters likes [sic] this are not taken lightly, and these views do not reflect our company’s values. Our human resources team is aware of this incident, and it is currently being investigated. While we appreciate you notifying us, we hope you understand that due to the sensitive nature of the situation, we’re unable to share any additional information at this time – Karleigh.”
This story is still developing.