The police always deny that they have a racial double standard, but an experiment at a Tennessee mall tells a different story.
A social media post from four white women on Saturday exposed the Memphis Police and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office for racially profiling a group of African-American men, CBS News reported.
This all stems from a video recorded by a former journalist that showed mall security and law enforcement officials stopping four young Black men for wearing hoodies at Wolfchase Galleria in Cordova on Nov. 3. They were escorted out of the mall with at least one of them in handcuffs.
The women said they wore hoodies in the same mall without any incident.
Racial profiling is a problem nationwide for Black people, but seldom is there any justice for violations. Recourse options are often limited, even when evidence suggests that discrimination occurred.
Memphis residents unfortunately lack a functioning police oversight board to address their grievances in this case, Nashville activist Theeda Murphy told NewsOne.
“There’s no way to do an independent investigation. In the aftermath of the mall incident, Memphis’ Black community is pushing to have the oversight board fully functioning,” said Murphy, who was involved in the successful effort on Election Day to pass an amendment to create a Community Oversight Board in Nashville that oversees the police.
“If a security guard spotted us with our hoods up, they very politely asked us to take them down. One guard said it was because they need to be able to identify everybody’s faces. So we said, ‘Sure,’ took them down, walked on, and put the hoods back up a bit later. Repeat. No threats. Point made,” the Facebook post said.
Here’s what happened to the Black men:
“At least a couple of those officers were Black, which shows you that it’s not a Black and white thing but a systemic thing,” Murphy said. “There’s an issue with policing and how officers are trained, how officers see who is a threat and who isn’t. It doesn’t matter if the officers are Black or white because they all get the same training.”