Kevin McKenzie, a former journalist, accused police of racial profiling after being picked up whereas defending a Black teen who was arrested for allegedly violating a mall’s “no hoodie” costume code in Memphis, Tennessee on Saturday.
McKenzie, 59, filmed a White safety guard who was tailing a gaggle of Black teenagers at Wolfchase Galleria for sporting hoodies.
A video of the encounter was shared to Fb on Sunday by McKenzie’s spouse, Peggy, and reveals one teen being arrested regardless of all 4 boys within the group sporting hoodies. In her caption, the spouse of the accuser gave his account of the occasion.
My husband, Kevin McKenzie, had essentially the most surprising, infuriating, humiliating expertise at Wolfchase Galleria on…
McKenzie, who can be Black, revealed his “antenna went up” when he noticed the White guard following the group of younger Black males as they entered the mall.
After practically shedding the group. The guard reportedly referred to as for again up and had the boys escorted from the premises.
Throughout this time, McKenzie requested the officers what occurred, and he was advised, “Their hoodies had violated a mall coverage.”
McKenzie continued, “I hadn’t observed any hoods after I first noticed the safety guard following them. Hoodie profiling was information to me.”
The kids re-entered the mall and one in every of them declared, “We now have rights.”
The 59-year-old mentioned that’s when two deputies and two Memphis law enforcement officials intervened. Though McKenzie pleaded for the boys, one teen was then arrested for felony trespassing, in accordance with WREG.
An image of the Wolfchase Galleria’s code of conduct was posted to Fb on Sunday. The one point out of a costume code reads, “Put on applicable clothes.” No rule says hoodies are prohibited within the procuring middle.
McKenzie advised Yahoo Way of life that the mall had some points with crime. “They don’t need individuals to return in and never be capable to be recognized by means of the cameras,” he mentioned.
The previous journalist recalled that not one of many younger males in query had their hood up.
He advised the information website, “To make the leap from having crime issues to a hoodie profiling coverage that finally ends up with a younger man in handcuffs will not be the best way to go.”
McKenzie felt he was additionally focused as a result of he taped the ordeal. “[A] black sheriff’s deputy approached me and advised me I additionally was breaking the mall’s guidelines. ‘You’re in violation of mall coverage,’ he mentioned through his spouse’s Fb publish.
“The officers may have issued me a misdemeanor quotation and launched me, however I used to be advised that as a result of I continued speaking, I used to be going to jail,” McKenzie wrote.
As a consequence of a well being concern, he was launched with a misdemeanor quotation. The 59-year-old mentioned he later discovered the younger man was launched with a quotation and a date to attend courtroom.
The story has since gone viral and McKenzie advised Yahoo that he has but to listen to from any representatives from the Wolfchase Galleria about his racial profiling claims.