Pool Patrol Paula, meet Pool Patrol Peter.
Last month, Stephanie Sebby-Strempel was arrested, fired, and dubbed Pool Patrol Paula after she was filmed harassing and allegedly hitting a group of black teens at her community pool in South Carolina.
Now a white man in North Carolina has been accused of racial profiling and terminated from his job at Sonoco after he called the cops on a black neighbor trying to use the pool. It is the latest in a troubling wave of incidents involving black people being reported for everything from mowing the lawn to attending a funeral.
As the New York Post reports, a man identified as Adam Bloom called the police when a black woman, Jasmine Edwards, tried to use the residents’ pool in their Winston-Salem neighborhood during the July 4 holiday. Bloom, whose lawyer says he is a member of the Glenridge Homeowners Association as well as pool chairman, asked Edwards for ID proving that she lived in the area and had access to the pool.
Edwards, who was with her son at the time, filmed the incident on her phone. The footage shows her questioning Bloom’s insistence that she show ID, noting that there is no sign stating that policy. But Bloom persists even as another resident and the police officers he called try to reason with him.
This man called the cops on a Black neighbor while she was using a community pool pic.twitter.com/V6caCaF6SF
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 6, 2018
“I feel this is racial profiling,” Edwards says in the video. “I am the only black person here, with my son — and he walked all the way to me, to ask for my ID. He asked for my address. I give it to him, and then he came back and said, ‘Well, I didn’t catch your address correctly. Can you provide an ID to prove the address that you gave to me?’ And I said, ‘Why do I have to show my ID? Is there an ordinance in the neighborhood?’”
At an officer’s suggestion, Edwards presented a card given to residents to open the gate to the pool. Though it worked, Bloom continued to express doubt.
“They kinda make their way around sometimes,” he tells the cops in the video. “But that’s good enough for me today.”
Edwards, meanwhile, can be heard asking the officers if she can charge Bloom for “racial profiling” and wasting “taxpayers’ money.” It is unclear if she will pursue a civil case.
But there has been fallout for Bloom, who is being called “Pool Patrol Peter” on social media since news of the confrontation went viral. His employer, Sonoco, announced via a tweet on Friday that they have parted ways with Bloom over the “terrible incident.” The company added that it does “not condone discrimination” and offered an apology to Edwards and her family.
We are aware of a terrible incident involving the actions of one our employees outside of the workplace, and we have released this statement. pic.twitter.com/vl8Vk4ykoc
— Sonoco (@Sonoco_Products) July 6, 2018
According to the Winston-Salem Journal, he has also stepped down as pool chairman and board member. The Glenridge Homeowners Association also issued a statement apologizing for how Edwards was treated.
“We sincerely regret that an incident occurred yesterday at our community pool that left neighbors feeling racially profiled,” the statement reads. “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.”
Bloom’s lawyer, John Vermitsky, claimed that Bloom has received threatening calls and denied that his client’s actions were racially motivated.
“This guy is really having a very difficult situation and dealing with backlash for something that’s pretty undeserved,” Vermitsky told the Post. “If you notice, he remains very calm — doesn’t make any racial epithets or anything. He was put in a very uncomfortable situation, trying to deal with conflicting responsibilities, and it’s simply unfair. This guy is in a very difficult situation, and it’s all because of a very misleading video.”
Vermitsky, who said Bloom was being “crucified” over the incident, also cited Edwards’s behavior.
“He had a pool member come to him and say, ‘This person doesn’t appear to be a pool member’ and asked to check their credentials, as he’s required to do so,” Vermitsky said. “[Edwards] became loud and confrontational, and he wanted to make sure that the situation was handled properly.”
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