LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An outburst by a customer at Jefferson Mall was caught on video, and it’s going viral. Now Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has issued an apology to two women who were the targets of a tirade by an irate customer.
Apparently, a woman was mad at two Latina women after she thought one of them jumped in front of her in line. As you can hear in the video, the clerk briefly tried to calm the woman, but the rant went on for several minutes.
“Go back to wherever the f*** you come from lady,” the woman in the video says.
“Just because you come from another country, that don’t make you nobody. You’re nobody, as far as I’m concerned. Probably on welfare. The taxpayers probably paid for all that stuff.”
The Jefferson Mall posted a statement on Facebook saying they are aware of video shot in a JCPenney. They say they try to be courteous to all guests and do not condone this behavior. The statement says officials plan to “work with JCPenney to identify this woman and once identified, she will be permanently banned from Jefferson Mall, per our Behavioral Code of Conduct.”
On Wednesday, community activist Christopher 2X spoke out about the video.
“You can’t sit around and watch that without doing something to let people know that you care.,” he said. “If we call ourselves a compassionate city, and that’s what Mayor Fischer promotes, we’ve got to embrace that mindset 24/7.”
WDRB spoke exclusively with a customer who was standing in line two places behind the woman seen yelling in the video. Ray Ayers says there’s more to the incident than what was recorded. He says one of the two women at the counter had already finished her transaction and was handed a receipt.
“So this other lady came up on the left side, she had a couple items, two or three items, and she set them down on the counter, and that’s when the lady said you need to go to the back of the line,” Ayers said.
He feels he was also cut in line. While he shares in the frustration seen in the video, Ayers does not condone the choice of words.
“The language she used, I didn’t agree there,” he said. “She used some bad language.”
The woman who recorded the video, Renee Buckner, posted it to “expose racism in Louisville.” She had her pastor, Timothy Findley Jr., spoke to the media on her behalf.
“When I saw that yesterday, unfortunately, I said that’s happening everywhere,” Findley said.
Buckner ultimately ended up deactivating her Facebook page Wednesday afternoon, after she was inundated with messages about the video. Pastor Findley says he’s angry and disappointed by what he saw in the video, but is glad it was captured for all to see.
“The fortunate aspect in all of this is that now we have to have a conversation that people in our community feel this way toward other people – minorities, black and brown people,” Findley said.
Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell issued a statement in the afternoon, essentially stating that if a criminal complaint was filed, the woman in the video could face harassment and/or disorderly conduct charges. His statement in full:
“I personally denounce the intolerant actions of one woman at Jefferson Mall, and also feel that this incident could rise to the level of criminal conduct. My office would review for possible prosecution any evidence from the individuals to whom these comments were directed, just as we would with any criminal complaint.”
Mayor Fischer also issued the following statement Wednesday morning:
“I am sad and disappointed to see conduct like this, when one person so dehumanizes another human being. This is not who we are, and on behalf of our community, I apologize to the two women who were treated in such a horrible way. I hope this video prompts many discussions among families as they gather for the holidays this week – discussions about basic human values, dignity and respect. As a country of immigrants, we must understand that we only move forward through peace, acceptance and embracing those who are different from us. These are basic American values protected in our Constitution, values embraced in this welcoming, compassionate community.”