A white man who asked to see the ID of a black woman who was using a neighborhood swimming pool has been fired, after the woman uploaded video of the encounter to Facebook, calling it “a classic case of racial profiling.”
The incident occurred July 4 at a private community pool in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The man, later identified as Adam Bloom by the Glenridge Homeowners Association, reportedly asked the woman, Jasmine Edwards, for her address and ID to prove she was a member.
Edwards provided her address but refused to show ID, reported local TV station WXII, prompting Bloom, a member of the homeowners association and the pool chairman, to call the police.
Edwards’ video shows that the pool is behind a locked gate that requires a keycard to open. A sign outside the gate makes no mention of needing an ID to gain access.
“Nobody else was asked to see their ID,” Edwards tells officers in the video. “I feel this is racial profiling. I am the only black person here with my son in the pool.”
Though she demonstrated her working keycard to Bloom and the responding officers, he wasn’t quite satisfied.
“If she has a card to get into the pool, I believe that should be enough,” one of the officers tells Bloom in the video. “It turns green, and it unlocks.”
Bloom responds, “They kind of make their way around sometimes ... but that’s good enough for me today.”
After Edwards’ video went viral and he was identified, his employer, Sonoco Products, issued a statement apologizing to Edwards and announcing that Bloom “is no longer employed by the Company in any respect.”
“Our core values at Sonoco are built on dignity and respect for all, and we do not condone discrimination of any kind, inside or outside of the workplace” the statement reads.
WXII reported that Bloom did not respond to its requests for comment.
The homeowners association also released an apologetic statement and pledged to redouble its efforts “to make sure no resident feels singled out again”:
We sincerely regret that an incident occurred yesterday at our community pool that left neighbors feeling racially profiled. In confronting and calling the police on one of our neighbors, the pool chair escalated a situation in a way that does not reflect the inclusive values Glenridge seeks to uphold as a community.
Our HOA Board has accepted his resignation as pool chair and a board member, effective immediately.
We also have re-instituted a sign-in sheet at the pool to make sure no resident feels singled out again.
And, in the coming days, we will take additional steps to ensure consistent and equitable application of our pool policies and procedures. We apologize to our neighbors who were directly hurt by these actions, and we hope that everyone in Glenridge will join us in redoubling our efforts to care for and support all of our neighbors during this difficult time.