Disabled shopper says Walmart turned him away - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Disabled shopper says Walmart turned him away

A Walmart shopper claims he was discriminated against during Black Friday hours because he's disabled. A Walmart spokeswoman says the stores take precautions to protect handicapped customers.

"Walmart in the past has always been a real friendly place, I worked for Walmart for several years," says Stephen Constable, who is visiting from Florida.

Constable walks with a limp and uses a cane, and sometimes a walker.

When he asked for a motorized cart at the Walmart on Airline Drive in Bossier City, Constable says he was denied by an assistant manager and given what he thought was a strange reason.

"He said we don't want handicapped people in the store tonight because they may get hurt."

We took Constable's complaint to Walmart headquarters in Arkansas, and they tell us they can't comment on Constable's specific allegation, but said, in general, that Walmart always works to accommodate disabled shoppers, regardless of if it's Black Friday.

Constable was not there for Black Friday deals and says he and his wife had just stopped in to the store to buy a few items. But they left after about 20 minutes of using a shopping cart for support.

"We found out that they had taken all of their motorized carts and put them in the back of the store, and I asked why did you do that and they said for your own safety," Constable says.

Kayla Whaling, a Walmart spokesperson at corporate headquarters, says the stores have individual crowd management plans for Black Friday. She wrote in an email, "On Black Friday, each store had a comprehensive crowd management plan tailored to their individual site. For example, for customers with disabilities, we may offer a wheelchair and associate to shop with them during their time in the store, rather than using a motorized wheelchair. We had very safe and successful Black Friday events at our stores across the county and heard overwhelmingly positive feedback from our customers."

Copyright 2012 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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