Man alleges racial profiling at Wauwatosa Home Depot; company calls it a 'misunderstanding'

WAUWATOSA -- A Milwaukee man alleged racial profiling by security at Home Depot near 124th and Capitol in Wauwatosa -- and company officials called the incident a "misunderstanding."

Terrance Westmoreland said he was attempting to make a return at the store when he was stopped by a security guard. In a message to FOX6 News, Westmoreland said he was trying to return a pair of blinds, and he had already got the blinds he wanted to buy. He said he was in the customer service area, and informed the cashier that he needed to make a return. He said the security guard alleged he was trying to do an illegal return -- alleging Westmoreland had come into the store with nothing. Westmoreland said he called police, and video showed him entering the store with two boxes. The cashier told police Westmoreland was attempting to purchase three boxes and return two, according to Westmoreland. He said police let him go, but he was "banned from the store."

Company officials issued this statement to FOX6:

"We had a complaint last week that stemmed from a misunderstanding when Mr. Westmoreland was trying to return some products at our Wauwatosa store. Both our store manager and district manager have reached out to him to personally apologize. There was a misunderstanding about Mr. Westmoreland’s return. We take these complaints very seriously and would not tolerate profiling. We have measures and training to help avoid that from happening. We’re very sorry for any embarrassment caused to Mr. Westmoreland.”

"I appreciate their gesture of apologizing, but you apologize when you step on somebody's feet," said Westmoreland. "You don't apologize, you know... something else bigger needs to be done for racially profiling me," said Westmoreland.

The Original Black Panthers of Milwaukee held a rally outside the store on Tuesday evening.