A former journalist is accusing police of racial profiling after an incident caught on video shows a Black teen being arrested for violating a mall’s “no hoodie” dress code policy.
The video was posted to Facebook by Peggy D. McKenzie, the wife of the accuser, Kevin McKenzie, who is also Black. Peggy shares her husband’s account of the confrontation and reveals that Kevin was later arrested too, allegedly for defending the teen and arguing that the dress code rule was discriminatory. The post is now going viral, with many commenters thanking Kevin for bringing attention to the incident.
Kevin told Yahoo, he was shopping at the Wolfchase Galleria when he noticed an “older white male security guard following a group of young black men not far from a mall entrance,” according to Kevin, the guard was following them like “he was a cat after mice.”
Kevin claims that as soon as the teens began to outpace the guard, the guard pulled out his radio to call in reinforcements. That’s when a Black officer appeared and escorted the young men out of the mall. When Kevin asked authorities what was going on, he said he was told the boys’ hoodie sweatshirts had violated a mall policy. “Hoodie profiling was news to me,” Kevin wrote.
A “code of conduct” posted at Wolfchase Galleria makes no mention of hoodie sweatshirts and only touches on its dress code by stating “Wear appropriate clothing.” McKenzie told Yahoo Lifestyle that the mall has seen its share of crime, and that he understands “they don’t want people to come in and not be able to be identified through the cameras,” but he didn’t see any kids with their hoods up that day. He added, “To make the leap from having a crime problems to a hoodie profiling policy that ends up with a young man in handcuffs is not the way to go.”