An Oregon man has won a whopping $4.4 million in damages from Walmart over claims he was surveilled by store security solely because he is black.
Michael Mangum received the payout by way of a Multnomah County jury, which "awarded [him] $400,000 in non-economic damages and $4 million in punitive damages against Walmart," according to a press release by Mangum's attorney at Kafoury & McDougal.
The alleged profiling incident stemmed from a late-March 2020 encounter between Mangum and a "loss prevention employee" who was reportedly surveilling the customer while in the Wood Village store.
The employee called the police when Mangum refused to leave the establishment; after authorities arrived, they "refused to take action against Mangum, both because of the shifting explanations as to why he called, and because of [the employee's] reputation for making false reports to police," the law firm said.
The lawsuit was brought due to Walmart management allegedly having "known months before the Mangum incident" that law enforcement found the employee in question highly untrustworthy, yet the worker "was not fired or even suspended."
Mangum "works 80 hours a week, first serving residents of a vast housing project in Portland’s poorest community, then spending his evenings counseling and building relationships with young people at risk of gang involvement," his law firm said.