Confrontation over Confederate flag caught on video

Clash over Confederate flag caught on camera

WARNING: This article and the video contain graphic language that may be offensive to some readers and viewers.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Protesters gathered Thursday afternoon outside a Southeast Portland store where a woman captured a confrontation with two employees on video after she asked about two Confederate flag rugs hanging on the wall of the store.

The confrontation occurred at Everyday Deals Extreme, located at Southeast 146th Avenue, Wednesday morning when 33-year-old Heather Franklin recorded the encounter that took place first inside and later outside the store.

Franklin went to Everyday Deals Extreme with one of her children and another child she was babysitting. Once inside, she said she saw two rugs with the Confederate flag on display.

Franklin started recording with her phone and asked a store employee about the rug. She said, "You don't care about having hate flags on your wall?" The employee responded, "How is that a hate symbol?" Franklin then said, "It's a symbol of slavery and lynching and raping of black people. It's a hate symbol."

The employee disagreed and told Frankin to "read your history."

Franklin then walked over by the checkout counter and another employee flipped her off and said, "Bye, bitch. Get your kids out of here. Look at this liberal, whiny bitch here. Hillary supporter? Bernie supporter? Which one did you vote for that lost? Is that why you're in a bad mood?"

The employee then threatened to call the cops.

The man in line at the checkout counter said, "They don't like that, they'll just protest that. You going to go hang up some signs, do you need some cardboard to write some stuff on? Or can you spell any words? Bye. Fuck you."

Franklin left the store and continued to film, explaining what had happened and naming the store and address. A short time later, the two men followed her out into the parking lot and the two men called her names while filming her. Franklin was by her vehicle and asked to be allowed to leave. She started crying and the two men mocked her crying.

Another woman in the parking lot told the men to go back into the store. After they retreated, she went and helped Franklin calm down and helped her as Franklin put the kids in her car.

Andrew Toolson, the CEO of the store, told KGW's Maggie Vespa said the company is sorry and that the Confederate flag rug has been removed. He also said the two employees have been placed on indefinitive leave.

Toolson said the store receives hundreds of rugs from a supplier in southern California each week. They don't get previews of the rugs or ask for specific designs. Toolson said he has asked that supplier not to send a rug with the Confederate flag design again.

In regards to Thursday's protest, Toolson said he was aware of it and said people were welcome to come exercise their freedom of speech.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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