A little more than a month after New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton was forced to apologize to James Blake for his officers' mistaken takedown of the former tennis professional for minding his own business on a crowded New York city sidewalk, another African-American sports star is claiming he was recently racially profiled by police officers.
Milwaukee Bucks forward John Henson says employees at Schwanke Kasten Jewelers in Whitefish Bay locked their front door when they saw Henson approach the store and then ran to the back to call police officers when Henson rang the door bell.
"After I rang the doorbell twice everyone went to the back ... This was followed by two police cars pulling up and parking across the street and watching me for 5 minutes," Henson explained in his lengthy post.
After being questioned by police officers about his parked Chevrolet, the cops informed the jewelry store employees that Henson was simply looking to buy a watch and they unlocked their doors to carry on with business as usual.
“This was one of the the most degrading and racially prejudice things I've ever experienced in life and wouldn’t wish this on anyone,” Henson wrote, clearly incensed by the incident.
The owner of Schwanke-Kasten Jewelry, Tom Dixon told the local paper that the Whitefish Bay Police Department had informed local business owners to be on alert, and defended the employees' actions as in response to the police department's warning.
Still, it seems as though Henson isn't buying the jeweler's excuse to profile potential customers: “You have no right to profile someone because of their race and nationality and this incident needs to be brought to light and I urge anyone who ever is thinking of shopping here reads this and doesn’t bring any business to this discriminatory place":
Went to @schwankekasten jewelry today in White-Fish Bay during regular business hours . They locked the door and told me to go away . After I rang the doorbell twice everyone went to the back. No answered the door or told me what was going on. This was followed by two police cars pulling up and parking across the street and watching me for 5 minutes ( I assumed they were called by the store ) . I was then approached by 2 officers and questioned about the dealer vehicle I was in which is apart of my endorsement deal with Kunes country Chevrolet and asked me what I wanted amongst other things that were just irrelevant to me being there just trying to shop at the store like a normal paying customer would do . I told them I was just trying to look at a watch. He then had to go in the back and tell them to come out it was safe but this is after they ran my plates and I overheard them talking about doing more of a background check on the car. The employees finally came out of the back and proceeded to conduct business like they previously were as we walked up . This was one of the the most degrading and racially prejudice things I've ever experienced in life and wouldn't wish this on anyone . This store needs to be called out and that's what I'm doing . You have no right to profile someone because of their race and nationality and this incident needs to be brought to light and I urge anyone who ever is thinking of shopping here reads this and doesn't bring any business to this discriminatory place .