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WHITEHALL, Mich. – A Muskegon County grocery store employee says he was fired for giving a customer a hug.

It’s controversy that’s ripping through the small community of Whitehall and has Fred Civis accused facing charges.

Civis says it was just a hug, a friendly way he has greeted customers throughout his 39 years at Plumb’s Valu-Rite Foods.

 Fred Civis claims he was fired from grocery store for giving a hug.
Fred Civis claims he was fired from grocery store for giving a hug.

But the alleged victim felt differently, leading to Civis’ termination and criminal charges.

A Facebook page called “Boycott Whitehall Plumb’s for Fred” started this week as members of the community rallied together Wednesday in support of Civis, holding signs and chanting “We want Fred!”

Civis described the incident to FOX 17:  “A pal hug, you put your arm around the shoulder, you put your arm…

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