A Black man was racially profiled by white residents in a Long Beach, California neighborhood for simply sitting in his car and waiting for his yoga class to start.
Ezekial Phillips had just dropped off someone near the California neighborhood where he parked his car. He decided to rest for a few minutes before driving to his nearby yoga group. He was in the midst of listening to his Bikram CD when a white woman approached his vehicle around 1 p.m in May.
“You’re not supposed to be here. This is a good neighborhood. At that moment I’m like, ‘wait hold up’. Have a good day ma’am. Namaste. And I rolled my window up,” Phillips told Fox 11.
The victim said the woman began recording him and he started recording her also. “So I got out the car, I started filming her as soon as I start filming her, “what are you doing?” Leave me alone! I’m feeling threatened. Help! Help!’ It was one of those.”
The woman ran to her neighbor’s house, dialed the police and accused Phillips of attacking a person.
“Ma’am. When you say he attacked other persons, what did he do to them,” the dispatch operator asked the woman. The unidentified woman replied, “He’s trying to give his business card to this other guy that I’m proof that he didn’t do anything to me.”
“I thought about it,” Phillips added. “If I leave, it’s looking like I’m guilty of whatever she’s talking about.” The man said he knows for a fact the woman wouldn’t have called the police on him if he were white.
The Long Beach Police Department said Philips didn’t commit any crime and no incident report was filed.
One of the neighbors agreed that the woman’s actions were racially motivated and said it was very “Trumpish. It’s okay to be a racist and it’s not.”
Phillips said the woman could have talked to him instead of instantly calling the cops. “It’s no longer cool to allow your discomfort to say that my discomfort is more valuable than the potential fact that this call, your life can be taken.”