A North Carolina man has come under fire for asking a black woman for identification to prove she was allowed to use a "members-only" neighborhood pool in what the outraged mother called a case of racial profiling.
Jasmine Edwards wanted to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday by bringing her son to their local pool in Winston-Salem. But when they arrived, they were met by Adam Bloom, the pool chairman, who wanted to see Edwards’ ID.
Edwards didn’t have identification on her to prove she lived in the neighborhood, but had a key card for the exclusive pool.
It apparently wasn't enough for the man, who called police.
"Where does it say that I have to show an ID to use my pool? My own pool," Edwards can be heard saying in a video of the incident.
"It doesn’t say she has to show an ID anywhere," another person adds.
The police explain to Bloom that Edwards doesn’t need an ID to swim, but he insists on seeing it.
“I feel this is racial profiling,” Edwards says. “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?'"
Bloom then asks to test the key card to make sure it works.
"They kinda make their way around sometimes, but that’s good enough for me today," Bloom says after the card works.
Police apologized to Edwards, who can be heard asking Bloom for an apology, but instead, Bloom walks away.
“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 we seek to uphold as a community,” the swim club said in a statement.
Edwards shared video of the ordeal on social media, where Bloom has been dubbed “Pool Patrol Paul.”
He is the latest to be criticized for calling law enforcement on black people seemingly minding their own business, joining the ranks of “Barbecue Becky,” who reported a group grilling in a park, and “Permit Patty” who contacted police after spotting a little girl selling water.
Bloom has since resigned from his position as pool chair and board member, and has been fired from his job at a packaging company.
“We are aware of a terrible incident involving the actions of one of our employees outside of the workplace,” Sonoco Products said in a statement. “The well-documented incident, which involves activities at a neighborhood pool over the 4th of July, 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.”
Bloom’s lawyer, John Vermitsky, told the New York Post that his client has been having “a very difficult situation” because of the incident.
"If you notice, he remains very calm, doesn't make any racial epithets or anything," Vermitsky told The Post. "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."