I actually live here, so I’m assuming they told the police that it’s not too many black people that do so if you see one make sure you get their address. RiverCrossing Apartments. pic.twitter.com/IgOx3DByUi— Quick (@HollywoodShayne) July 6, 2018
In another hashtag-deserving incident of racism, a black man was told to leave the pool by a white woman.
Shayne Holland had been renting out an apartment at the Keystone apartment complex at the River Crossing in Indianapolis for the past 17 months. On Friday, he was relaxing at the apartment pool, as he often does, when he was met with an unexpected and unwelcome dose of racism.
Holland alleged as he was lying in a pool chair, he was confronted by a woman — apparently, an off-duty Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer— who was working as security at the complex.
Holland did not immediately realize she was a cop and the woman did not enlighten him.
The unnamed cop asked him if he lived there and told him to give his address. Like all reasonable people, Holland refused to hand over his address to a stranger.
“I had my headphones when she approached me so I didn't hear her the first time. When I asked her to repeat herself, she asked if I lived in the neighborhood. I said yes,” Holland said. “When she asked where I lived, I said I don't know you and you haven't identified yourself, so I'm not just going to give you my address.”
Holland then showed the cop his complex-issued keys, which grants him access to the swimming area and told the officer she could test them to make sure they worked as proof that he resided there.
However, it was still not enough to convince the suspicious woman. She then called the apartment office to confirm whether Holland lived there. Seeing the situation was spiraling out of control, the man started recording the interaction in his cell phone.
Shortly after, the apartment manager, whom Holland referred to as Candice, arrived. In the video, it is clear that the man is no stranger to the manager and they were on good speaking terms. The manager can also be heard telling the cop that Holland does, in fact, live there.
But if Holland thought the situation would end there, he was sorely mistaken.
The manager started demanding why Holland had refused to answer the officer’s questions. The man insisted he had showed the cop his apartment keys and told her that he did live here. However, the manager took the officer’s side and told him to leave anyways.
“I thought the ordeal would be over ... obviously that wasn't the case and I was told to leave anyway. Obviously I was frustrated and I do feel like I was profiled,” said Holland.
"Why do I need to give this lady, who I don't know, my address?" Holland asked in the video. Later he said, "Why do I have to leave my pool?"
When he once again flourished his apartment keys in front of the cop, the woman snatched them out of his hands. Holland said the officer did that so she could rile him up.
“As a man, I feel like when someone snatches something out of your hand, it natural to want to react,” he said. “But I felt like if I moved, anything she felt that was an aggressive or threatening ... she could have used force on me. And that would have been the worst-case scenario…”(The property manager) and the police officer both had the authority in the situation, but they didn't use it correctly. That is what we complain about."
Alex Stokely, vice president of Barrett & Stokely, the company that manages River Crossing, told the Indianapolis Star, the manager had been placed on leave. He also said his company takes issues of racism very seriously and the incident was being investigated.
“That (investigation) includes talking to the employee and talking to the resident to get their point of view,” Stokely said. “Once we've finished our internal investigation, we'll decide if she continues to be an employee or if she's terminated.”
He also explained the officer was there because of some unrelated incidents days earlier when people who did not reside in the apartment complex showed up to use the swimming pool and refused to leave.
“The police there were to ask everybody there the same question as far as confirming that they did in fact live there or were guests of someone who lived there,” he said.
However, if that were the case, the officer should have questioned everyone in the pool area but Holland said she only approached him and then refused to back off even when he showed her concrete proof that he lived there.
Holland’s case is the latest in a string of viral incidents that involve black people going about their lives being confronted or reported by racists. In many of these cases, the person accused of racial profiling has been given a nickname that has gone viral on social media and resulted in their reckoning.
Holland also hopes the calm way in which he handled the situation would lead to positive change.
“It's extremely frustrating. I'm from the inner city; I'm from a place where we didn't have a pool in the neighborhood. Now that I'm at an age and a place where I can afford to attain that, I still have to deal with being profiled,” he said. “I feel like more and more people in 2018 are comfortable telling young African-Americans what they should and should not be doing.”
He also has no plans to leave his apartment any time soon for which he had already paid an advance of $1,600. He is now waiting to see how the investigation will unfold.
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