WALMART will no longer place "multicultural" hair products behind glasses in any of its stores, the company confirmed yesterday.
The practice has been criticized for the implication that customers who buy the locked items – largely people of color – cannot be trusted.
When a person wants to buy one of the hair and beauty products stored behind glasses, a customer assistant has to unlock the case and usually then takes the item to the front of the store for purchase.
Walmart customer Judah Bell said the process is "humiliating" and is something she's noticed at a few locations across the US, usually in more "urban, less affluent areas", NBC News reports.
She said because her local Walmart uses the locked cases, she prefers driving 11 minutes further to a more affluent area and shop there – where she does not have to deal with such treatment.
She added the longer drive can even save time because sometimes customers have to wait for 10 to 15 minutes until a store worker finally arrives to get the locked products.
Walmart said the practice is only in place "in about a dozen" of its 4,700 US stores, but it will be completely abandoned.
Two photos of a supermarket's shelves have gone viral as outraged viewers claimed it sums up the state of racism in America.
The images of hair care products at Walmart are said to show items targeted at African American shoppers locked up behind a glass cabinet, while those more commonly advertised as being for white people's hair are left untouched.
Twitter user Jesus A. Rodriguez shared the pictures which have gone viral – being retweeted more than 188,000 times and 'liked' just under 600,000 times.
He wrote: "It's more than just the police."
The pictures have sparked fury as many claim it is an example of bias against black people in their day-to-day lives.
It comes as Black Lives Matter protests have been sweeping the world following the death of George Floyd, who died after white police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck.
His horrific death reignited passions as people call for an end to racism of all kinds – with many sharing their experiences of prejudice.
Mr Rodriguez's post led to an outpouring of support as people shared their own experience of apparent racial bias at supermarkets.
Others shared images showing beauty products targeted at African Americans and other groups being tagged or surrounded by shoplifting warnings.
However, some claimed that the items were selected for additional security measures as they were identified by loss-prevention officers as being at high risk due to past theft.
Protests continue as Mr Floyd's funeral took place on Tuesday, with demonstrators calling for real and lasting change following the case.
One user said: "Damn. All the times I've walked past this at Walmart and never even put two and two together. Holy hell this makes me sad I've never recognized all the little things."
Another added: "The products that are locked and chained up are the ones that are specifically targeted at natural black hair; implication being that the store owners expect black people to steal hair products."
Others shared images including concealer being attached with electronic tags, and a shelf of hair dye where the only one in a theft-prevention case was the one with a black model on the front of the box.
But one user – who identified themselves as a former loss prevention officer – said: "This is victimhood gone too far.
"They keep track of high theft items so if something is behind glass it means it got stolen a lot in the past."
Another added: "Stores lock up products that are most stolen. Its not a race thing."
However, one user pointed out: "They are frequently stolen because people can't afford them, right? Why can't people afford them? They live in disadvantaged communities."
It came as mourners, friends, family, celebrities and politicians wept at Mr Floyd's funeral yesterday at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston.
Video of the 46-year-old "gentle giant" pleading "I can't breathe" before he dies has been viewed millions of times worldwide.
Civil rights activist Al Sharpton eulogized Mr Floyd, and said Mr Floyd — along with other black people killed by the police, including Eric Garner — will receive justice.
He used the stage to criticize President Donald Trump, branding him "wickedness in high places".
Trump has come under fire for his handling of the protests as he threatened to use the military to tackle the disorder.
His election rival Joe Biden also spoke at the funeral, and said: "Unlike most, you must grieve in public. It’s a burden. A burden that is now your purpose to change the world for the better."
"When there is justice for George Floyd we will truly be on our way to racial justice in America," he continued.
Addressing George's children and grandchildren, Biden said: "I know you miss your daddy and your granddad. Gianna, as I said to you when I saw you yesterday, you're so brave."
The Sun Online has contacted Walmart for comment.
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