FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. — A law enforcement officer says he was humiliated after he was handcuffed and accused of shoplifting.
David Conners says he went to Walmart to shop for decorations for his new home.
He told Channel 2′s Tom Jones that he never would have imagined his wrists would be decorated with handcuffs and he’d be suspected of shoplifting.
Now, he doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else.
“I ain’t never shoplift a day in my life. You got the wrong man,” is what Conners said he kept telling officers who handcuffed him while they investigated claims by Walmart that he was a serial shoplifter.
Officers even showed him video of the shoplifter Walmart thought was him.
“That is not me,” he said he told security.
Conners told them the man they were looking for didn’t have tattoos. He did.
Conners had given officers two forms of ID, one showing he was a Clayton County prison corrections officer.
“I could have lost my Georgia post over this situation,” he said.
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Conners told Jones that he believes he was racially profiled. So does his attorney, Terance Madden.
“This is the very essence of profiling,” Madden said.
It was back in September when an officer stopped Conners while he was shopping, saying the store had called because it believed he was a man with the last name Wright who had continually shoplifted electronics from the store.
Even though Conners showed his ID, he was taken to a room where he was held.
Police say they had to investigate the claims and he was handcuffed because he was agitated.
They also said Conners had the same build as the suspect and matters were complicated because both had on masks.
“This could be anybody. I could have walked in there and it could have been me who got arrested,” Madden said.
Conners was finally released after the officers FaceTimed someone familiar with the case and that looked at Conners and said he wasn’t the suspect.
Conners said this has given him a new perspective on claims of officers racially profiling people.
“I really start thinking about a lot of things more. I never racially profiled,” Conners said.
Conners told Jones that he has tattoos, and the man police were looking for didn’t.
His attorney has filed a lawsuit against Walmart.
Walmart sent Jones a statement that says it does not tolerate discrimination and takes allegations like this seriously. It says it cannot comment further because of the pending litigation.
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