MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks center John Henson says he was racially profiled at a Wisconsin jewelry store in an incident the shop owner says was a misunderstanding.
Henson posted an account of the incident Monday on Instagram, saying workers at the Whitefish Bay shop where he’d intended to look at a watch locked the door and told him to leave.
Henson, who is black, said he was questioned by police. He called the incident “degrading.”
The text from Henson’s now-deleted Instagram post:
Went to @schwankekasten jewelry today in White-Fish Bay during regular business hours . They locked the door and told me to go away . After I rang the doorbell twice everyone went to the back. No answered the door or told me what was going on. This was followed by two police cars pulling up and parking across the street and watching me for 5 minutes ( I assumed they were called by the store ) . I was then approached by 2 officers and questioned about the dealer vehicle I was in which is apart of my endorsement deal with Kunes country Chevrolet and asked me what I wanted amongst other things that were just irrelevant to me being there just trying to shop at the store like a normal paying customer would do . I told them I was just trying to look at a watch. He then had to go in the back and tell them to come out it was safe but this is after they ran my plates and I overheard them talking about doing more of a background check on the car. The employees finally came out of the back and proceeded to conduct business like they previously were as we walked up . This was one of the the most degrading and racially prejudice things I’ve ever experienced in life and wouldn’t wish this on anyone . This store needs to be called out and that’s what I’m doing . You have no right to profile someone because of their race and nationality and this incident needs to be brought to light and I urge anyone who ever is thinking of shopping here reads this and doesn’t bring any business to this discriminatory place.
Store owner Thomas Dixon told WISN-TV the incident was a misunderstanding over Henson’s vehicle. He says police had asked employees to be on the lookout for certain types of cars.
Whitefish Bay Police issued a statement saying the department advised the store to call police if a Red Tahoe like Henson’s arrived after one parked outside the store days earlier raised suspicions that its plates were stolen.
Henson, the 14th overall pick out of North Carolina in 2012, signed a four-year contract extension earlier this month.
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