Allege racial profiling at West Hills store
“Fast & Furious” franchise star Tyrese Gibson today sued Home Depot for civil rights violations, alleging he and two associates were the victims of racial profiling by employees at the West Hills store in February.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit also alleges negligent hiring, supervision and retention. Two of the 44-year-old singer/actor’s construction workers, Eric Mora and Manual Hernandez, also are plaintiffs in the suit, which seeks more than $1 million in compensatory damages, the amount the suit maintains Gibson has spent over time at Home Depot. Gibson also seeks punitive damages.
Gibson, “one of the most recognizable Black actors and musicians in the United States, and his associates ... experienced outrageous discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling first-hand inside the Home Depot retail store in West Hills,” the suit states. “The company needs to understand that there are consequences for discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling.”
Gibson and the other plaintiffs are “committed to doing their part to advance civil rights and put an end to the despicable practice of discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling at the Home Depot, and, by extension, all retail stores,” the suit states.
Gibson and his workers went to the Victory Boulevard store on Feb. 11, where Gibson, worried his fame could cause a distraction, had his construction workers pay for the items the three selected with his credit card while he went to his car, the suit states. However, Gibson returned to the store when the cashier declined to complete the transaction, according to the suit.
The cashier “gave no reasonable explanation other than repeating store policy and demanded to see a form of identification,” according to the suit.
The manager refused to speak with Gibson and the transaction was completed only after a heated discussion with the cashier, according to the suit, which alleges the actions of the cashier and manager were racially motivated.
“There is no other plausible explanation for the mistreatment of plaintiffs,” the suit states.
Gibson and his fellow plaintiffs have all suffered shame, humiliation and mental suffering, the complaint alleges.