Police Confront Black Locksmith Working in White Neighborhood With Assault Rifles
A Black locksmith filmed his encounter with several police officers who confronted him as he was changing a lock in what he said was a predominantly white neighborhood. In the video, first shared to TikTok on May 23 and viewed more than 1 million times, an officer tells the man and his colleague they’re there to see about an alleged complaint. The data and location of the encounter are not known.
In two-part footage posted by TikTok user @thereasonchi, captioned “Working in a White Neighborhood,” at least four officers approached the workers who are seen with open toolboxes on the front doorstep of a home.
“Look at this sh-t,” the man said as the officers approached. One officer held an assault rifle in two hands, while the another carried one on his waist.
“Is there anybody else in the house?” an officer asked.
“No, we’re doing a work order changing the lock,” the locksmith said. “You see the f-ckin’ drill set, right?”
“Put your phone down!” the officer holding the assault rifle said as he approached.
“I can record,” the man started to say before the officers told him he could keep recoding but had to put the phone down so nothing was in his hands. “No, I don’t trust you,” the man replied. “We ain’t doing nothing wrong, we’re here to change a lock change.”
“Understood,” the officer said. “We’re here for a complaint, that’s all.”
Another officer said a neighbor called after seeing the men kicking the door. “That what we gotta do, we gotta change the lock!” the man said.
“I’m just telling you why we’re here,” the officer responded.
“Guess they’re not used to seeing people like us out here,” the man’s co-worker said.
“Yeah, they’re not used to Black people,” the man said, laughing. Before the footage ended, one officer exited the home through the front door, asking who was in charge and requesting to see ID and a work order.
On TikTok, users criticized the officers’ approach.
“Cop rolls up with an AR type gun and a suppressor on it and first words out of his mouth is to put the phone down…smart on OP to keep recording,” wrote @mweidman3211.
User @ariellehoward0 agreed, writing, “you got this big gun drawn put your worried about his phone really make it make sense.”
A third suggested the encounter was a clear case of racial profiling, asking, “My question to police!!! If it was white workers in a black neighborhood would this same scenario happen????”