UPDATE: Old Navy Fires Employees Following Alleged Racial Profil - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Old Navy Fires Employees Following Alleged Racial Profiling Incident in West Des Moines

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UPDATE: Three Old Navy employees have been fired following an alleged racial profiling incident at an Iowa store.

On Tuesday, James Conley III said he was accused of not paying for the jacket he had been wearing when he went shopping at the Old Navy location in Jordan Creek Town Center. A store employee told Conley, who is African American, that his jacket needed to be scanned to make sure it had previously been purchased at the store.

The store was then temporarily closed pending an investigation into the situation and Conley filed a formal complaint with the NAACP Des Moines branch.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Old Navy announced three employees involved in the incident were fired. “The situation was a violation of our policies and values, and we apologize to both Mr. Conley and to those we’ve disappointed. All of our customers deserve to be treated with respect,” the post said.


WEST DES MOINES- A popular clothing store is temporarily closed right now.

This comes after an Iowa man claims he was racially profiled at an Old Navy in West Des Moines. 

James Conley says, "I found two hoodies and I went to the cash register to check out. That's when I was asked if I was going to purchase the jacket I had on."

Conley thought maybe it was a joke that he was asked about the jacket he says he has worn into the store before. 

He says he bought the jacket at Old Navy as a Christmas gift for himself in the past. 

"The manager proceeded to say anytime anyone has Old Navy apparel on, they have to scan it," Conley says. 

Something he later learned may not have been true.

"There were customers that were Caucasian before me and behind me that had on Old Navy apparel similar to what I had, and they didn't get checked or anything," Conley says. 

He says employees scanned his coat and tried to make him pay for it. But he said the stalemate ended when he offered a solution.

"I feel like I am being stereotyped as a black man, and I shouldn't be. If you guys have surveillance cameras or tape you can go look; can you please go do that," Conley asked. 

A manager looked at security tapes and found Conley had worn the jacket when he entered the store, essentially ending the situation.

Conley says he still feels disrespected.

"I didn't get any apology from the district manager, the store manager or the other employees." he says. 

The video of the incident has gone viral since the post on Tuesday. Old Navy has released a statement, saying they're actively investigating -- and they praise diversity and inclusion. 

For a look at the viral post, click here

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