Racial Profiling comes in many shades. This incident occurred at Hibbett Sports in Owasso, Ok. My husband was asked to leave for the mere fact that he was Native and had long, braided hair in the traditional Pawnee style! pic.twitter.com/BUaMr1mgZt— Sarah Knife Chief (@ChiefKnife) April 19, 2018
A Native American man claimed he was kicked out of a sports store in Owosso, Oklahoma, and later arrested on charges of trespassing because of his race.
Robert Robedeaux made the claims in a video in which he can be seen being escorted out of a Hibbett sports outlet by three police officers. He said he went to the store on Feb. 17 and asked an employee to take a photo of the outfit he had tried so he could send it to his wife.
The employee then called the police on him and sent them to the dressing room where he was trying on clothes. The employee alleged that he asked her if she was “all alone”, and the remark made her uncomfortable. She requested that he be removed from the store and issued a trespass order.
“I was trying on clothes at HIBBETT SPORTS, in Owasso Oklahoma, and the Mgr called the police on me. Why? Because I was PROFILED as a threat, not because I was a threat, or being a threatening person, but because of my race and someone passed a judgment,” he wrote in the Facebook post accompanying the video.
He further said in his post that he had called the Hibbett store every week since the incident. He also encouraged his audience to do the same and question Hibbett for this allegedly racist gesture.
Robedeaux was later “arrested for an outstanding out of Owasso in relation to an improper parking offense from December 2016,” according to the Owasso Reporter.
His lawyer, Brett Chapman, disputed the employee’s version of events, and said Robedeaux asked her general questions about the store. He also accused the store employee of changing her “story” multiple times since the incident.
Chapman compared the incident to the “Starbucks matter”, where two black patrons were escorted out of a Philadelphia Starbucks for waiting for their friends inside the café.
The lawyer claimed that Robedeaux, who was recognized for the Native American style of his hair, was racially profiled because people of color are automatically perceived as threats.
If Robedeaux’s claims are true, this will obviously not be the first time businesses in the United States have felt uncomfortable about having people of color on their premises. There seems to be an urgency from employees and owners of businesses to have people of color evacuate their premises as soon as possible.
Recently, a white golf club in Pennsylvania called the police on five black women who were all members there. Their crime: Some white folks at the club thought the women were taking too long to play.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters/Daniel Munoz