Security Guards Confront Innocent Black Man For Taking Photos In His Own Neighborhood

Oakland, CA — Kenya Wheeler, an African American man from California, says he was racial­ly pro­filed by three secu­ri­ty guards who con­front­ed him — one even drew a weapon at him — because he was tak­ing pho­tos while walk­ing home. Kenya believes he was treat­ed that way because of his race.

Kenya post­ed what hap­pened on Facebook, along with a video he took of the inci­dent. In the video, the secu­ri­ty guards can be heard ask­ing “Why do you [take] pic­tures the car?”

I took pic­tures of the bike racks,” Wheeler answered.

The secu­ri­ty guards did not believe Wheeler and accused him of “cas­ing vehi­cles” instead. Wheeler was then forced to wait for the police while detained. He said he was shocked when he saw one of the guards threat­ened him with a firearm even though he was unarmed and he only had his smart­phone and umbrel­la with him.

Given that the guard had pulled a weapon, Wheeler said he “did not feel safe in exer­cis­ing my rights to leave and stayed even though I felt it was false deten­tion as these were not peace offi­cers and I had com­mit­ted no crime.”

Wheeler, who is the head of Oakland Bicyclist and Pedestrian Commission, said he was walk­ing home from a yoga class when he noticed the bike racks that were adorned with col­or­ful yarn. He stopped to take some pho­tos of it to share with his col­leagues at the com­mis­sion, but then he was sud­den­ly stopped by the secu­ri­ty guards.

After being held for 20 min­utes, he was free to go home after the police came and resolved the inci­dent “pro­fes­sion­al­ly.” Still, he was dis­ap­point­ed with the inci­dent which he believed hap­pened because of his race.

This is racial pro­fil­ing, and this is a racial act,” he told local sta­tion ABC 7. “The only rea­son that I’m being treat­ed this way is that I’m Black.”

Meanwhile, Peter Jakel, a spokesper­son from the PR firm that rep­re­sents the build­ing where the secu­ri­ty guards worked, said they were also upset about the inci­dent and they have since changed their secu­ri­ty providers.

We share the con­cerns Mr. Wheeler expressed as he was on a pub­lic side­walk and should not have been con­front­ed at all,” said Jakel.

Moreover, Wheeler said the build­ing man­ag­er apol­o­gized to him and said that there have been recent break-ins in the area which may be the rea­son the guards stepped up their secu­ri­ty. He hopes his expe­ri­ence could serve as a les­son about the impor­tance of inclu­sion and diver­si­ty.

What I do know is that all of us as a com­mu­ni­ty need to come togeth­er to ensure what hap­pened to me does not hap­pen to oth­ers in Oakland or else­where in our region,” he said. (Bnews)

One thought on “Security Guards Confront Innocent Black Man For Taking Photos In His Own Neighborhood

  1. Whether or not we want to believe it the days of us liv­ing in the world as one peo­ple irre­spec­tive of one’s race is when we erad­i­cate illit­er­a­cy from the White and oth­er com­mu­ni­ties.

    Racism is a taught behav­ior by an inse­cure set of peo­ple who are lack­ing self-con­fi­dence, and it’s their way of feel­ing bet­ter about them­selves.

    I hope that this the last time some­thing like this hap­pens in the United States .

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