A 16-year-old boy who police say used the courtesy phone at a Jersey Walmart to announce “Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now.” has been arrested and charged with harassment and bias intimidation, according to local officials who spoke to the AP. Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton, who calls the incident “an extremely disturbing event on many levels,” is not releasing the suspect’s name or criminal record because of his age. He’s also refusing to release the teen’s race, saying it doesn’t factor into the investigation.
Walmart officials in Arkansas released a statement that the announcement was “unacceptable” and “offensive,” apologized to shoppers, and said that the announcement system at the Washington Township store has been upgraded to prevent further incidents. “Community members” and the Gloucester County chapter of the NAACP told the AP that earlier incidents have taken place at the same Walmart and were not reported to police.