A Fourth of July video captured a white man who called the police because he refused to believe that an African-American woman and her infant were members of their community pool in Winston-Salem.
Since the video has gone viral, the man — identified as Adam Bloom — has lost his job at Sonoco, a packaging company, as well as his role on the board of the community’s homeowners’ association.
In the video, posted on Facebook by Jasmine Edwards, Bloom repeatedly insists that Edwards must show her ID to confirm that she belongs at the pool, which she refused to do. She confirmed her address, and the police even confirmed that her key card to the pool granted her access — which prompted Bloom to suggest that cards had been stolen. “They kind of make their way around sometimes,” he says in the video.
Edwards tells the officers in no uncertain terms that she feels Bloom targeted her because of her race. “Nobody else was asked [for] their ID,” she explains. “I feel this is the racial profiling. I am the only black person here with my son in the pool… and he walked only to me to ask for my ID.”
She asks Bloom for an apology but he refuses.
Sonoco president and CEO Rob Tiede published an open letter Friday confirming that Bloom was no longer employed with the company.
“The well-documented incident, which involves activities at a neighborhood pool over the 4th of July, in no way reflects the core values of our company,” he wrote. “To that end, effective immediately, the employee involved in this incident is no longer employed by the company in any respect. ”
“We extend our sincerest apologies to all who have been rightfully upset and directly impacted by this unacceptable incident, especially Ms. Edwards and her family,” he added.
The Glenridge Homeowners’ Association also put out a statement Thursday afternoon confirming that it had accepted Bloom’s resignation as pool chair and as a board member, effective immediately.
“We sincerely regret that an incident occurred yesterday at our community pool that left neighbors feeling racially profiled,” they wrote. “In confronting and calling the police on one of our neighbors, the pool chair escalated a situation in a way that does not reflect the inclusive values Glenridge seeks to uphold as a community.”
The HOA also announced that it has re-instituted a sign-in sheet at the pool “to make sure no resident feels singled out again.”
Bloom has refused to speak publicly about the incident. When WXII 12 News reporters emailed him, he didn’t respond, and when they came to his door, he — ironically — called the police on them.
Bloom’s attorney, John Vermitsky, tried to pass the buck by suggesting to the Winston-Salem Journal that prior to the video being recorded, a female member of the pool had approached Bloom about whether Edwards was a member. It was his job as pool chairman, Vermisky claimed, to check her credentials. “Nothing about his resignation implies that he did anything wrong,” Vermitsky said.
The video is just the latest in a series of recent incidents in which white people unnecessarily called the cops because on black people who were engaging in perfectly innocent and legal activities, like having a cookout in a park, napping in a dorm common room, mowing the lawn, or selling water on the street.