EASTVALE (CBSLA) — Some Amazon employees are saying the company is not doing enough after racist and violent graffiti was discovered at an Inland Empire warehouse.
“It was really, it was really disgusting,” Johnnie Corina III, a warehouse worker, said.
Corina said he found the graffiti written and etched in his workplace restroom at the Amazon facility in Eastvale.
“So, it basically said, ‘Why are these N-words here? I wish they would go back to Africa. If I was an N-word, I’d kill myself,'” he said.
According to Corina, the graffiti began in late November and happened again in December. He said the graffiti escalated earlier this month.
“Right after George Floyd happened, and everything going on in the world, they tag ‘white power, N-word with the K behind it,'” he said.
Corina said Amazon cleaned up the graffiti but did nothing to address the issue, so he filed a formal complaint.
Meanwhile, another employee posted a picture of one of the racist remarks on Twitter and tagged Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive officer. That’s when civil rights attorney Stephen King said Amazon fired his client, an employee named Donald Archie.
King said Archie did not post nor take the photo.
“Donald Archie was one of the initiating individuals who decided that a picture should be taken, really to preserve it, so that some sort of cultural sensitivity training, something could be done,” King said. “But, because he prompted that, he basically became the fall guy.”
King, who now represents Corina and Archie, said neither employee believes an investigation into who was actually responsible for the graffiti was never initiated.
“So we are going to be seeking damages, but, most of all, what we want is we want Amazon to address its policies,” King said. “I mean, the timing is right, and Amazon should do the right thing.
“We want change,” he continued. We want Black people to feel safe in the workplace.”
In response to the graffiti, Amazon sent a statement that said:
“Amazon has zero tolerance for any behavior deemed hateful, racist, or discriminatory. We take this matter seriously and are actively investigating the situation.”
Corina said he hopes to see a change in the culture at Amazon.
“I want to see something that’s going to be impactful to where people don’t feel OK with their conscious or unconscious bias that they have towards blacks in there right now,” he said.