Accused of fraud, Black couple experiences painful and embarrassing racist accusation from Schnucks Market store clerk
The CEO has issued an apology, but is it enough to make things right?
A Black St. Louis couple was denied a money order from a Schnucks Market because…. racism.
According to Fox 2 News, Kellen Hill, went to Schnuck to get a $1,100 money order to pay his rent. But the store clerk denied him the money order alleging that there could be potential fraud.
When the clerk told Hill he would need to purchase the money order in cash, Hill called his girlfriend, who showed up to the store with $1,100 – in cash, as requested.
And yet the store clerk, who has now been identified as Travis Donahue, still denied the Black couple a money order, stating that he was just following the store’s policy.
Hill posted the incident to Facebook, saying in his post: “It’s really sad that you can’t be Black and buy a money order without being accused of fraud.”
When his post went viral the company’s top executive issued a contrite statement Tuesday.
“I deeply apologize to the customers and am incredibly disappointed in the poor judgment that was used in handling this incident,” CEO Todd Schnuck said. “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. We have also extended an offer to the customers to meet with them in person to offer our apologies as well.”
Donahue has since been fired, but Schnuck made mention of the store’s policy used to mask his discrimination.
“Due to multiple recent incidents of fraud where subjects were using stolen debit cards and showing out-of-state identification — most frequently from the state of Florida — to purchase high-dollar money orders, the customer was asked to use cash to make the purchase instead,” Schnuck said in a statement.
“Later in the day, the customer complied with the request, when his (girlfriend) returned to the store with cash. The money order should have been sold to her at that point. It was not,” he conceded.
In videos posted on social media, Hill’s girlfriend can be seen crying and upset as he argues with the male employee as other Schnuck customers step in to show their support.
Check out the footage below.