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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 14, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 50
Profiled because he was homeless, harassed because he was Gay, shot because he was black
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Profiled because he was homeless, harassed because he was Gay, shot because he was black

Family sues Walgreens over in-store shooting

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A family in California is suing the Walgreens company after Jonathan Hart, a Gay black man, was shot and killed by a security guard employed by the pharmacy chain.

On December 2, Hart was accused of shoplifting by a security guard at a Hollywood Walgreens store. The encounter turned into a fight, during which the guard reportedly pulled his gun and shot Hart in the neck, killing him.

Hart was only 21 at the time of his death, and was experiencing homelessness. According to reports, the as-yet-unidentified security guard has not been arrested or charged in the killing.

Hart's family is now suing Walgreens for $525 million and calling for a boycott of the company's stores.

'I dare say, Jonathan Hart was profiled because he was homeless. He was harassed because he was Gay, and he was shot because he was black,' said the family's attorney, Carl E. Douglas.

'I gave this family a pledge: that Jonathan will not have died in vain, and that, on behalf of the people of America, through the spirit of Jonathan Hart, we are gonna make Walgreens pay,' Douglas added.

Douglas was one of O.J. Simpson's defense attorneys.

Walgreens has not commented on the lawsuit, but the company did issue a statement.

'We have extended our deepest and most sincere condolences to Mr. Hart's family,' Walgreens said.

'As a result of this tragic incident, we immediately terminated the security company, and we continue to fully cooperate in the ongoing police investigation.

'We are committed to providing a safe environment for our employees, patients, and customers in the communities we serve. We contract for armed and unarmed security, as well as video surveillance, in our stores based on the public safety needs of each location.

'We operate in thousands of communities and neighborhoods across the nation, and the suggestion that we would inappropriately serve any community is simply false. We firmly believe everyone should be welcomed and treated equally in all of our stores.'

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