News, Culture & Society

Black Illinois state rep is stopped by a cop while leaving a store and wearing a mask and gloves 

Representative Kam Buckner (D-Chicago) took to Twitter on Monday afternoon to talk about his experience while shopping on Sunday

A black Illinois state representative was stopped by police at a store and had his ID and shopping receipt checked because he was wearing a mask and gloves. 

Representative Kam Buckner (D-Chicago) took to Twitter on Monday afternoon to share that his Sunday shopping experience reminded him of the ‘gratuitous & unwanted attention given to those of us of a certain demographic while engaging in normal social acts and how quickly the objective can turn into the subjective based on implicit bias and prejudice.’ 

Black people across the country have expressed worry about wearing masks in public, fearing prejudicial response from both law enforcement and those in their communities.

Buckner said he wore a hoodie, sweatpants and sneakers as he went to the store because church was cancelled. To follow Governor J. B. Pritzker’s order, he sported a pair of gloves and a masks as well. He noted that many others were dressed similarly.

As he walked out of the store with items in his cart, a uniformed officer then came to ask him questions.

He said the experience reminded him of the 'gratuitous & unwanted attention given to those of us of a certain demographic while engaging in normal social acts and how quickly the objective can turn into the subjective based on implicit bias and prejudice'

He said the experience reminded him of the ‘gratuitous & unwanted attention given to those of us of a certain demographic while engaging in normal social acts and how quickly the objective can turn into the subjective based on implicit bias and prejudice’

Buckner said he wore a hoodie, sweatpants and sneakers as he went to the store because church was cancelled. To follow Governor J. B. Pritzker's order, he sported a pair of gloves and a masks as well. He noted that many others were dressed similarly

Buckner said he wore a hoodie, sweatpants and sneakers as he went to the store because church was cancelled. To follow Governor J. B. Pritzker’s order, he sported a pair of gloves and a masks as well. He noted that many others were dressed similarly

The representative is pictured wearing a mask on a different day

The representative is pictured wearing a mask on a different day

‘I explained to him I had just purchased them from the store he saw me walk out of,’ he said in the Twitter thread. ‘He asked to see my receipt, which was deep in my pocket.’

He continued: ‘After 30 seconds or so, I found it and gave it to him. He barely glanced at it and then asked for my ID. I complied. He walked to his car and was in it for a couple of minutes and returned both the ID and my receipt.’

Buckner asked the officer why he specifically was stopped. 

‘”People are using the coronavirus to do bad things. I couldn’t see your face, man. You looked like you were up to something,”‘ the representative said the officer told him. 

Troubles came for the representative as he walked out of the store with the items of his cart, Buckner explains, sharing a uniformed officer then came to ask him questions

Troubles came for the representative as he walked out of the store with the items of his cart, Buckner explains, sharing a uniformed officer then came to ask him questions

He continued: 'After 30 seconds or so, I found it and gave it to him. He barely glanced at it and then asked for my ID. I complied. He walked to his car and was in it for a couple of minutes and returned both the ID and my receipt'

He continued: ‘After 30 seconds or so, I found it and gave it to him. He barely glanced at it and then asked for my ID. I complied. He walked to his car and was in it for a couple of minutes and returned both the ID and my receipt’

Buckner asked the officer why he specifically was stopped

Buckner asked the officer why he specifically was stopped

The representative wondered what does someone who is ‘up to something look like?’  

He shared that prior to the death of Trayvon Martin, he had already been exposed to the harsh reality of having to consider how he dressed in various spaces. 

‘I am a 6’4” black male from the Southside of Chicago & when not in a suit, I’m likely in a hoodie, jeans & Jordans. & depending on the time of year, a myriad of tattoos may be visible,’ he added. ‘I am keenly aware of not looking like I am “up to something,” but should I have to be?’

Buckner said that similar situations of profiling had happened to him before and shared that he wasn’t ‘indignant’ that his status as a politician could not offer him any protections. 

‘It bothers me most because I can’t help but think of the dangers that are inherent for a number of black men who are just adhering to the mask rule and by doing so, look like they are “up to something,'” he added. ‘This is not in the least bit an absolute indictment on any group.’

The representative did not allude to what store he was shopping at nor did he share details about the officer’s race. Several people took to the comments to offer their words of support for the representative.

‘I’m sorry this happened to you. And yes, you’re so right – things need fixing. We need to do better…and be better…moving forward,’ shared Illinois state representative Ann Williams. 

‘Thank you for sharing your experience, Rep. I’m sorry this happened to you. And you’re right, much work remains to be done on issues that pre-dated this pandemic and those that seem to be deepening each day,’ said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton.

Governor Pritzker announced on Tuesday he was investigating the case.

'I’m sorry this happened to you. And yes, you’re so right - things need fixing. We need to do better...and be better...moving forward,' shared Illinois state representative Ann Williams

‘I’m sorry this happened to you. And yes, you’re so right – things need fixing. We need to do better…and be better…moving forward,’ shared Illinois state representative Ann Williams

'Thank you for sharing your experience, Rep. I’m sorry this happened to you. And you’re right, much work remains to be done on issues that pre-dated this pandemic and those that seem to be deepening each day,' said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton

‘Thank you for sharing your experience, Rep. I’m sorry this happened to you. And you’re right, much work remains to be done on issues that pre-dated this pandemic and those that seem to be deepening each day,’ said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton

”It’s something that we’re looking into. We obviously believe that there is discriminatory behavior taking place here so we are going to try to make sure that we try to address it.’ 

The Chicago Police Department distanced itself from the incident. 

‘Based on the limited information supplied to the Chicago Police Department, we are currently unable to authenticate that this incident involved a CPD member,’ the Chicago Police Department said in a statement, according to ABC 7.

‘All investigatory stops must be predicated on reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred, is occurring or is about to occur. Anyone who believes that they may have been treated unfairly can submit a complaint to a CPD supervisor, CPD’s Office of Internal Affairs and/or the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.’



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.