A Black college student visiting Sante Fe for the first time was racially profiled by a store employee because he looked “sketchy.”
The police were called on Jordan McDowell, a scholar of Xavier University, after he purchased a bag of candy from a local convenient store, reported KRQE.
The 22-year-old stopped by Santa Fe Allsup’s on Friday around 8 p.m. to buy a snack. He purchased a bag of Sour Patch Kids from the store and continued to look around. The young man noticed the clerk watching his every move.
“The first thing that popped in my mind absolutely was just discrimination,” McDowell said.
The shop employee dialed the cops on the student and accused him of “disorderly conduct” according to the dispatch call. The news source could not locate a filed police report.
McDowell said the convenient store told him, “I was sketchy because I picked stuff up, put stuff back.”
The 22-year-old captured part of the incident on camera. The store clerk can be heard on the phone with 911 dispatch shouting, “I want him out of the store right now.” She then adds, “Because he’s being arrogant, because he’s Black.”
McDowell said he was enraged at the woman’s racist language, but “understood that racism in America never truly died.”
An officer arrived at the shop a few moments later. The student said the officer didn’t ask for any identification and assured McDowell that he did nothing wrong.
The news station reached out to the Allsup store owner who denied speaking of the young man’s race and then refused to continue speaking. The store’s corporate office has yet to release a public statement.
McDowell said, “There’s nothing right to call the police on someone just because of their skin tone.”
However, the student who is a pre-med senior at Xavier University plans on becoming a surgeon. Besides his bad experience with Allsup, he enjoyed his one week trip to Sante Fe. He and five other students traveled to the city to explore Native American culture.
“I explored the native lands, I loved it, I enjoyed it, I enjoyed the feasts, seeing the dances, everything of that nature,” he said.
The 22-year-old agreed that racism still exists in the world and it’s important for others to share experiences similar to his.
“I just want everyone to know you still have a voice, you can speak up, you still can do your part and that’s what I’m going to continue to do,” said McDowell.