Days after a weekend of political and racial unrest in Charlottesville, Va. sent shock waves across the States with the deaths of 32-year-old paralegal Heather Heyer and Virginia State troopers Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Burke M.M. Bates, a North Carolina department store is dealing with a controversy.
A Belk department store in Cary says it’s “very seriously” addressing an incident in which store mannequins were rearranged with arms raised on Sunday.
WTVD reported that the display stoked fears of racial and anti-Semitic hostility in America and that those who saw the display believed it was done to resemble a Nazi salute.
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A customer took the photo you see below and said, “How many people walked by this and didn’t notice, oblivious, or saw it and did nothing? Awestruck, I watched about twenty before I couldn’t take it. It’s about action, and when it comes to racism and inequality, no act of defending love and equality is small.”
— Steve Daniels (@DanielsABC11) August 14, 2017
After the photo was shared far and wide, the store confirmed that the mannequins are now back to their normal stances. A review of store surveillance showed that somewhere between 4:27 p.m. and 5:16 p.m., but the store says it doesn’t have footage of the arms being raised since the cameras scan back and forth.
Store spokesman Andy Izquierdo said in statement that Belk is “trying to figure out exactly what happened” and that “We’re taking it really seriously.”
It’s not clear at this time if a customer or store employee was behind it, but employees are being interviewed.
The store is expected to go public with its findings.