The fourth of July is supposed to be a day in which Americans come together and celebrate our independence. Most families spend the day barbequing, throwing a party, or going to see a local fireworks show. While everyone’s traditions are different, for the most part, the 4th is a day centered around harmony.
But in the following story, togetherness was the last thing on neighbors minds’ when there was an altercation at the community pool. It turned into a big ordeal and raised the question of racial profiling…
This is another case of racial profiling caught on video. It all happened on the fourth of July at a neighborhood swimming pool in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The community called Glenridge is a beautiful development that was once a family farm with many fruit trees and a trickling stream.
Back in the 80s, Glenridge was developed into 259 homes in four distinct sections. Three of the four sections are single-family homes located in Barrington, Glenridge and Huntscroft, each with a distinct personality and architecture. One of the development’s amenities is a pool with an adjoining playground and sand volleyball area with a picnic area…
The pool and playground are the perfect places to bring young children. This was the idea one woman had and on the fourth of July, she took her baby to the pool. Apparently, her presence there raised some eyebrows and one woman asked a man sitting nearby if he knew who the woman was.
Feeling Uncomfortable In Her Development
When he said he didn’t, he decided to ask the woman if she was a resident of the community and if she had proper identification to be at the pool. This was an odd question, she thought since you need a key card to gain access to the pool. If she didn’t have one, she wouldn’t have been allowed in…
Bloom Was Acting Like The Pool Police
The man identified as Adam Bloom, became angry when the woman, Jasmine Edwards, didn’t have an ID card on her, proving that she and her son lived in the Winston-Salem neighborhood where the pool is located. Edwards got really upset.
Calling The Police
Bloom then called the police because Edwards didn’t have an ID card on her, yet, why would she have thought to bring identification to a pool? One of the residents by the pool jumped the conversation saying, “It doesn’t say she has to show an ID anywhere.”
Recording The Interaction
“Where does it say that I have to show an ID to use my pool? My own pool,” Edwards asks on video while speaking to Bloom in front of the responding officers. The cops appeared to be trying their best to reason with Bloom who was with his children.
They explained to him that Edwards doesn’t need an ID to swim with her children, but he insisted on seeing one anyway. Edwards was finally fed up and said, “I feel this is racial profiling. I am the only black person here with my son, and [Bloom] walked all the way to me to ask for my ID.” She continued…
“He asked for my address [and] I gave it to him, and then he came back and said, ‘Well, I didn’t catch your address correctly. Can you provide an ID to prove the address that you gave to me?’ And I said, ‘Why do I have to show my ID? Is there an ordinance in the neighborhood?’”
Bloom’s response was classic. He said that he asks residents “pretty much a couple times a week” to see their IDs. Bloom’s lawyer, John Vermitsky told the New York Post that his client works for the Glenridge Homeowners Association as the pool chairman and board member. His lawyer said that Bloom is required to ask people for IDs on account of his position. But Edwards wasn’t buying it…
Checking Edward’s Credentials
Bloom claims that he had a pool member come to him and say, ‘this person doesn’t appear to be a pool member’ and asked to check their credentials. Edwards then reportedly became loud and confrontational and Bloom just wanted to make sure the situation was handled properly.
Pressing Charges For Racial Profiling
Then, one of the officers asks Bloom if residents are required to carry a “swim card,” granting them access to the pool. Edwards responded by saying, “Yes! I have one! That’s how I got in!” She asks the officer, “What can I charge against him for racial profiling?! Because this is ridiculous.”
The Incident Would Have To Be Handled As A Civil Dispute
The male officer informs her that the incident would have to be handled as a civil dispute and he also admitted that he’s never heard of local residents being required to carry IDs at neighborhood pools. “I’m just here with my baby, swimming,” Edwards said, adding that Bloom was responsible for wasting taxpayers money.
Refusing To Apologize
Then, just when the incident should have been over, Bloom wouldn’t leave until Edwards proved that her “swim card” worked to get into the pool. To set to rest once and for all that she was a resident there, Edwards used her card to successfully open the gate. But even after validating that her card worked, Bloom refused to give Edwards an apology. He was still skeptical…
Sharing Her Frustration On Social Media
He arrogantly walked away, ignoring Edwards as if she didn’t even exist. She, in turn, posted the video of the incident she took on her phone to Facebook and wrote, “This is a classic case of racial profiling in my half a million $$ neighborhood pool. This happened to me and my baby today. What a shame!!”
Social Media Backlash
In response, the video was viewed more than 4 million times and received a lot of backlash on social media. Bloom’s employer, Sonoco, apologized to Edwards on Bloom’s behalf and said that the situation doesn’t reflect company values. Then, the company spokesman, Brian Risinger, confirmed that Edwards was immediately terminated. The company said…
Losing His Job
“We are aware of a terrible incident involving the actions of one of our employees outside the workplace…[Bloom] is no longer employed by the company in any respect.” Risinger said the separation was “effective immediately.” Reportedly, Bloom was a business development manager who had been with Sonoco for about five years.
Resigning As The Pool’s Chairman
The Glenridge Homeowners Association also spoke out about the incident and said that Bloom resigned as the pool’s chairman and association board member. “We sincerely regret that an incident occurred yesterday at our community pool that left neighbors feeling racially profiled…In confronting and calling the police on one of our neighborhoods, the pool chair escalated a situation in a way that does not reflect the inclusive values Glenridge seeks to uphold as a community.”
Glenridge Homeowners Association Taking Active Measures
The association also re-instituted a sign-in sheet at the pool to make sure no resident feels singled out again. They said that in response to this incident they will take any other additional steps necessary to ensure consistent and equitable application of its pool policies and procedures.
Apologizing To Anyone Hurt By These Actions
“We apologize to our neighbors who were directly hurt by these actions, and we hope that everyone in Glenridge will join us in redoubling our efforts to care for and support all of our neighbors during this difficult time.” The pool’s employees also met with the president of the Glenridge Homeowners Association to further discuss the unfortunate incident. It is uncertain at this time if Edwards will be filing a civil lawsuit against Bloom.