- The Washington Times - Monday, July 9, 2018

A Manhattan camera store has apologized after the founder of the #WalkAway movement, which encourages Democrats to abandon the party, said he was denied service.

Brandon Straka said he had already spent a considerable amount of time picking out camera equipment at Adorama on West 18th St. in Manhattan on July 5 when one of the salesmen refused to sell anything to him.

“He stared at me with this kind of deadpan expression,” Mr. Straka told The Epoch Times. “And he said: Are you planning to use this equipment for alt-right purposes?’”

“‘I’m sorry I just don’t feel comfortable selling to you,’” he recalled the clerk as saying.

“It kind of took my breath away,” he said. “I said to him, ‘Listen, if you can’t sell to me, that’s fine, but, you know, person to person, I’d like to talk to you, because I don’t think you know what Walk Away is about. And he said, ‘Well, you know, I’m done. I’m not comfortable selling to you. You’re welcome to talk to someone else in the store but I’m not going to sell to you.’”

Mr. Straka said another salesman eventually stepped in and allowed him to finish his purchase.

Walking out of the store, he said: “I was shaking. I was hurt. I had this huge adrenaline rush. I felt embarrassed and I also felt nervous.

“At every station of the store, I’d given them my personal information. What if this kid decides to go into the computer and dox [to publish private information, as in a phone number or address] me?” he wondered. “I am not a guy who has a lot of money. I can’t have people going to my apartment and harassing me.”

Adorama, which bills itself on Twitter as “more than just a camera store,” apologized in a statement Friday.

“The Adorama Management Team deeply regrets the incident involving an employee in our store,” the statement said. “Please know this is not who we are, and does not reflect the position of our owners or other staff members. This is being taken seriously and is being addressed with the highest priority.”

Mr. Straka said he’s willing to move on, asking that the clerk in the incident not be named.

“My instinct is telling me to practice compassion and forgiveness here,” he told The Epoch Times. “I don’t want to see this guy getting fired. I don’t want anything bad to happen to him. I don’t want people harassing him.”

The budding #WalkAway movement encourages social media users to share their story of renouncing the Democratic Party. Mr. Straka, a gay, now-former Democrat who said he was “devastated” by President Trump’s election, said he left the party after realizing the dishonesty of Democrats and the left-leaning media.

Mr. Straka tweeted Tuesday that the CEO of Adorama had reached out to him personally to apologize.

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