The five Black women golfers at the center of an attention-grabbing racial profiling case may motivate a Pennsylvania commission to recommend policy reforms at a local golf course.
A third hearing was held with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Wednesday over the April 21 incident in which activist Sandra Thompson and four other women were removed from the Grandview Golf Club in York. Steve Chronister, a former York County Commissioner and father of one of the club’s owners, had called the police twice on Myneca Ojo, Sandra Harrison, Carolyn Dow, Karen Crosby and Thompson, who is the local NAACP president. A 911 operator was told that the women were “playing too slowly” on the second hole and after they completed the first nine holes of the course. The women posed no threat but were confronted by two Northern York County Regional Police officers for no credible reason. The police took no action against the women, PennLive.com reported.
Jerry Higgins, a 64-year-old white golfer who had witnessed the incident, corroborated Thompson’s story to the commission.
“The pace of play was not a problem,” Higgins said repeatedly at a June 21 hearing before a second meeting on June 22.
The two police officers called to Grandview also testified in front of the commission. Grandview representatives, who were scheduled to receive subpeonas, have yet to testify at the hearings, which could lead to sizeable changes at the golf course.
The state commission typically makes recommendations for policy changes and enforces state laws that prevent discrimination. Racial tension has also been stirred by the incident, commission officials said. A review of the club’s rules may lead to policy reforms, and a pending lawsuit slated to have been filed by Thompson and the group against Grandview may spur changes. State Senators Vincent J. Hughes and Art Haywood have also vowed to seek further action in the case.
The disappointing incident has not stopped Thompson from playing golf. She successfully played at the Larry Holmes Heart of a Legend charity tournament at the Green Pond Country Club in Bethlehem on Monday, the York Daily Record reported. Other players including “The Sopranos” actor Artie Pasquale and Superior Court Judge Jack Panella.