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Nosy Resident Complains That Black Family Shouldn’t Be at Pool — Then Questions 12-Year-Old for Answers

A Canadian woman is alleging racial profiling after she says a member of her townhouse’s complex staff asked her family to show ID during their visit to the neighborhood pool last week.

Gurda Henry, who is Black, said she and her family — including her two daughters, her sister and her sister’s two kids  — arrived at the pool Thursday, July 12, when they were accosted by a complex staffer who asked them to prove they lived in the neighborhood, Global News Canada reported.

The staffer was reportedly summoned by another resident who was suspicious of Henry and her family using the pool. There were several other families enjoying the pool that day, but Henry said only her family was asked to show ID.

“[The staffer] said, ‘Um, there are some concerns that you guys shouldn’t be here,’” she told Global News. “I said, ‘excuse me?’”

To prove she was a resident of the strata, Henry said she showed the staffer the key fob she used to access the swimming area. The staffer still asked to see ID, however, citing concerns that some people had jumped the fence to get in.

“I was like, ‘No I don’t have ID. Do you go swimming with ID in your back pocket?’” she recalled asking the staffer.

Henry figured the embarrassing ordeal was over once the staffer used the key fob to prove the family indeed lived there and shared the information with the resident who complained. Yet, the harassment didn’t stop there.

Minutes later, Henry said she noticed that same resident questioning her 12-year-old niece, Anna Elva, despite the staffer having already confirmed their residency.

“…He was towering over me, basically, and he wouldn’t leave,” the young girl told Global News, noting the resident appeared to be trying to apologize for the incident but was also prying for more information. “I didn’t feel scared, but I felt threatened.”

Video taken by Elva shows her aunt and uncle confronting the resident who complained to the clubhouse staffer about them being there.

Speaking to the Toronto Star, Henry revealed this isn’t the first time she’s been racially profiled at the complex. The mother of two said she was spurred to speak out this time because her family was there to actually witness it. She said she doesn’t want another family to have to experience something like this.

“My kids were involved, and this is a place that I bought so my kids could enjoy (it),” Henry told the newspaper, adding that the situation left her feeling deeply upset. “I felt harassed, I felt ambushed. It was not necessary.”

Henry is now asking for a formal, written apology from the strata association, which operates the townhouse complex. In a statement, the association confirmed that the resident who lodged the complaint is a member of the strata council and serves on the clubhouse committee. It promised to launch an investigation into the incident.

“The enquiry of this shouldn’t have occurred in this manner,” the council said. “Steps are currently being taken to remove that committee member from the clubhouse committee based on their actions in overstepping their boundary.”

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