Black man detained after filming teen being handcuffed for wearing a hoodie at Wolfchase mall
Kevin McKenzie noticed that a group of black young people was questioned by the Wolfchase Galleria officers in Memphis due to their clothing, so he started recording. Little did he know that he would end up getting arrested, too.
Peggy McKenzie, Kevin’s wife, uploaded the story to Facebook with photos and videos addressing the situation. The man was at the previously mentioned mall on November 3 when he saw that the officers were arresting a young black man.
He asked for the reason, and they said that it was because of the “hoodie policy,” which states that no customer can be in the mall while wearing a hoodie or concealing his identity as a way to protect the safety of everybody.
McKenzie, who considered that policy was discriminatory, started using his phone to record how the young black man was getting arrested and, after that, one of the security guards approached him saying that he was breaking mall rules by videotaping the incident.
He ordered McKenzie to put his phone away, but the man didn’t do it. The guard later asked him to leave, but McKenzie, who is a former journalist, didn’t move. When a police officer approached him and said that what he was doing was called “criminal trespassing,” McKenzie got surprised.
In less than five seconds, the policeman told him to put his hands behind his back, handcuffed him, and took him to the mall security room. A police officer arrived and transported him to the jail. However, since McKenzie was being treated for an infected toe, he was taken to the Regional Medical Center for evaluation.
Once there, they noticed that the handcuff on the left arm was stuck, so a firefighter had to use bolt cutters to remove them. McKenzie was later given a misdemeanor citation and taken back to the mall.
One of the things McKenzie wrote is still resonating the Internet, “Why should young people in a majority black city have to fear going to the mall just because they wear hoodies?”
The mall later released a statement addressing the situation:
“We require customers to not conceal their identity while on mall property as a matter of public safety. It is important that our security cameras and security personnel be able to see the faces of everyone on property. Mall security personnel respectfully ask all customers concealing their identity to conform to the policy. Police are only called if a customer refuses or becomes belligerent. In this instance, a MPD officer repeatedly requested the individual to remove his ‘hoodie.’ He did not comply with this directive and was removed from the mall. The incident on Saturday night was managed by the Memphis Police and we refer all questions about the circumstances to MPD.”
Unfortunately, it was not the first time that black people got arrested for apparently doing nothing as a couple of men were sitting at a Starbucks coffee shop waiting for a friend when the police showed up.
They were called because both men didn’t order anything, so they were asked to leave. However, they said that they were waiting for a friend to have a business meeting. Both men were arrested.
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