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North Carolina mother alleges racism at private pool

Police officers used the woman's key card to prove to the man that it opens the locked gate

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Facebook/ Jasmine Edwards

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Police officers used the woman’s key card to prove to the man that it opens the locked gate

A black woman has alleged racism after a white man called the police when she entered a North Carolina swimming pool in an incident that has gone viral.

Jasmine Edwards said she was visiting the neighbourhood pool in Winston-Salem with her baby on Wednesday when she was asked to show identification.

She filmed the interaction and posted the video to Facebook, where it has been viewed more than 4.5m times.

Amid the ensuing backlash, the man has been fired by his company.

A lawyer representing the individual, named in local media as Adam Bloom, said he was merely doing his job as pool chairman and board member for the local homeowner’s association.

The attorney, John Vermitsky, told the Winston-Salem Journal that Ms Bloom had approached Ms Edwards because another resident had questioned whether she was a member of the pool.

The incident took place during the Fourth of July holiday at the private Glenridge Community Pool.

Mobile phone video filmed by Ms Edwards shows police calmly speaking to her and the man.

“Nobody else was asked their ID,” Ms Edwards tells police.

She tells them that Mr Bloom had approached her to ask for her driver’s licence to confirm she was a resident.

“I feel this is racial profiling,” said Ms Edwards. “I’m the only black person here, with my son in the pool, right? And, he walked only to me to ask for my ID.

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Facebook/ Jasmine Edwards

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Jasmine Edwards says she was racially profiled during the Fourth of July holiday

“Where does it say that I have to show an ID to use my pool, my own pool?”

Officers leave after Ms Edwards hands her electronic keycard to a policeman, who uses it to open the locked pool gate.

Ms Edwards then asks Mr Bloom if he will apologise, but he does not and walks away.

On her Facebook page, Ms Edwards called the incident “a classic case of racial profiling in my half a million $$ neighborhood pool”.

Mr Bloom’s employer, the packing company Sonoco, said on Friday it had fired Mr Bloom due to the “terrible incident”.

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Facebook/ Jasmine Edwards

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Mr Bloom was fired by his employer for the incident

In a statement, the firm said the interaction “does not reflect the core values of our Company, and the employee involved is no longer employed by the Company in any respect”.

“On behalf of our more than 20,000 teammates around the world, we extend our sincerest apologies to all who have been hurt by this incident, especially Ms Edwards and her family,” the company said in a statement.

In a statement, the Glenridge Homeowners Association apologised and said Mr Bloom had resigned from his position as the pool chairman and a member of the board.

“In confronting and calling the police on one of our neighbours, the pool chair escalated a situation in a way that does not reflect the inclusive values Glenridge seeks to uphold as a community,” the statement says.

“We apologise to our neighbours 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 neighbours during this difficult time.”

The video comes about a week after a white woman was accused of attacking a black teenager at a South Carolina pool, after telling him he and his friends “did not belong and they had to leave”.

The 38-year-old woman was shown shoving the 15-year-old and calling him a “punk”.

North Carolina mother alleges racism at private pool

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