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A college student was browsing the aisles at a convenience store in Santa Fe, New Mexico, last week when the clerk called the police on him for being “arrogant” and “Black,” Vice reports.
The student, 22-year-old Jordan McDowell, said he had already paid for some candy but that the clerk was “watching” him continue to shop and accused him of being “sketchy” before calling 911.
“The first thing that popped in my mind absolutely was just discrimination,” McDowell told local news station KRQE.
He filmed the 911 call, and the footage shows the clerk telling the dispatcher she wanted McDowell to leave the store “right now.”
“Because he’s arrogant, because he’s Black,” the clerk can be heard saying. McDowell says in response, “Oh, so I’m arrogant because I’m Black?”
KRQE reports that the police officer who arrived to the store didn’t ask to see McDowell’s ID and agreed he did absolutely nothing wrong by browsing the store. Meanwhile, the clerk has insisted that she didn’t mention McDowell’s race in the 911 call—even though the clip clearly shows her doing so.
“The only thing I felt at that small moment was rage,” McDowell told KRQE. “There’s nothing right about this, there’s nothing right to call the police on someone just because of their skin tone.”
The incident is the latest example of a Black person being reported to the police for doing nothing more than existing. Last month, a Black woman was reported to the police while she was donating goods to the homeless.
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Kris Seavers is the Evening Editor for the Daily Dot, where she covers breaking news, politics, and LGBTQ issues. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.