A black man says he was told to leave the pool at his own apartment complex where he has been renting a unit for more than a year in an incident he described as racial profiling.
Shayne Holland told the Indianapolis Star he was relaxing after a workout last Friday when he was approached by an off-duty police officer working as a security guard at his apartment complex. The woman, seen in a video Holland posted to Twitter, reportedly asked if he lived in the area then asked for his address without identifying herself. He showed her his apartment key, which gives him access to the pool, but declined to give his exact address.
“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 told the Star. The security guard then asked a property manager to confirm Holland’s residency.
The video quickly escalates as Holland continually refuses to give his address before he is told to leave the pool area by the officer. “Why do I have to leave my pool?” he asks the property manager, who replied that he had to go because he declined to answer the guard’s questions.
“Honestly, I don’t want to jump to racism,” Holland told Indianapolis’ ABC affiliate, WRTV, about the encounter. “I don’t want to say she just pointed me out because I’m the only black dude in the pool, but that was the case.”
The company that manages the complex, Barrett & Stokely, addressed the incident on Facebook and said a guard was on site that day after several people had used the pool without being residents and then refused to leave.
The agency said the property manager seen in the video has been placed on administrative leave while it reviews the encounter.
“We are disappointed that we weren’t able to handle this situation in a way in which everyone felt respected and understood,” Barrett & Stokley said in a statement. “We should have communicated with all residents that we would have security on site, who would be asking for proof of residency.”
The incident echoes several others from recent weeks, including a woman who called the police on a black family grilling in a park in Oakland, another who reported an 8-year-old girl selling bottled water without a permit and a property manager who called the authorities on a black man wearing socks in a community pool.
Holland has asked for an apology from the management company and the property manager, saying communication would have solved the issue before it took place.
“If you need to have somebody make sure that it’s safe and make sure that there are not too many people that don’t live at the pool, I don’t mind that,” he told WRTV. “Just let me know that.”