Several racial profiling incidents have happened in Philadelphia after the arrest of two Black men at a city Starbucks sparked national outrage and protests in April.
The apparent trend extended into this month when police stopped city public school teacher Quamiir Trice because of a broken tail light, WITF, a local source, reported. The routine traffic stop took a bad turn when an officer began searching Trice and his vehicle for drugs — a move that made him feel like he was being racially profiled.
“He grabbed my wrist and said, ‘Get out the car!’ He damn near pulled me out of the car,” Trice, a Howard University graduate, said during a recent public racial profiling workshop in Germantown. “So I grab my phone and start recording, because I’m wondering what’s about to happen.”
Another educator, Ismael Jimenez, along with his wife, were blocked from re-entering a movie theater to get their children, also last month. Jimenez and his family were trying to enjoy “Jurassic World” at the Cinemark movie theater in University City but excessive noise prompted them to ask for a refund. After getting their money back, they tried to go back to the theater to find their kids to leave the premise but were racially profiled, Jimenez, an African-American studies teacher at Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Philadelphia, said.
Another incident also involved a bad customer service experience: Benjamin Slater, a special-education teacher, was approached by armed security at Dorney Park on Father’s Day. The excuse that officers gave Slater was that he “fit the profile” of someone who had tried to search bags and purses at the park. Slater was taken to the park’s security office, received a “public inconvenience” citation and was banned for six months from the place. He later filed a lawsuit against Dorney.
In addition, activist and school administrator Will Mega was stopped by store security demanding to see a receipt after he made a purchase at Lowe’s on May 26. Mega protested and recently called for a boycott. State Senator and Democrat Sharif Street asked the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission to investigate, the Philadelphia Tribune reported.
“Too often we’ve been victims of shopping while Black,” Mega said. “You walk in, they follow you around the store. They check you, double check you, triple check you, ask you for receipts. After I give you my money and you give me my product, our relationship is over. Don’t double check me, triple check me, like I stole something.”