This is what it's come to.
Former journalist, 59-year-old Kevin McKenzie, is accusing law enforcement of racial profiling after he witnessed an incident in which a young Black man was detained for violating the mall’s “no hoodie” dress code policy.
A video of the interaction was captured and uploaded to McKenzie’s wife’s Facebook page. According to the post, the whole thing began as the couple was headed for a cellphone store at the WolfChase Galleria Mall in Memphis, Tennessee when they noticed an “older white male security guard following a group of young black men not far from a mall entrance.”
According to the McKenzies, when the teenagers began to outpace the guard, he called for backup. A black law enforcement officer soon showed up and escorted the group of young men out of the mall. Kevin McKenzie confronted authorities, asking them what was going on and he was informed that the mall had a strict “no hoodie” policy.
“Hoodie profiling was news to me,” Kevin wrote.
The “code of conduct” at the WolfChase Galleria only says to “wear appropriate clothing,” with no direct mention of any hoodie policy. McKenzie, speaking with Yahoo, noted that he understood the need to watch out for patrons with their hoodies up because “they don’t want people to come in and not be able to be identified through the cameras.” However, he notes that he did not see the young men with their hoodies up.
“To make the leap from having a crime problems to a hoodie profiling policy that ends up with a young man in handcuffs is not the way to go […]“I don’t know what that private security guard saw that had him trail [the teens] and have them thrown out, but I do know that they were challenging that policy and there was nothing on their heads.”
McKenzie adds that four off-duty enforcement individuals were at the scene and did not allow the young men to reenter, threating to arrest them for trespassing. He says that soon one of the teens, with his hoodie down, was handcuffed and led away.
“In a predominantly African American area like Memphis and Shelby County, [using trespass laws to enforce the dress code policy] clearly disproportionately targets young black men,” he wrote in the Facebook post.
McKenzie who was recording the whole thing was eventually detained by officers as well for “violating mall policy” when he refused to stop recording. Both he and the detained teen were asked to sign forms that band them from the mall. The young man singed the form while McKenzie did not.
“I didn’t need to because I will never spend another dollar at WolfChase Mall,” he said. “Baby Boomers like me have failed to reverse the laws and policies that have led young black men in our community to be targeted by public laws and on this private pro.”
Read this full story via Yahoo Lifestyle.