Last week, I wrote about how Milwaukee Bucks John Henson posted a photo on Instagram (since removed) and a long description about what he felt was an act of racial victimization from a jewelry store who wouldn’t let him in, then hid in the back of the store until cops arrived.
It was sick as hell, and not just because Henson did nothing wrong and is a pro athlete.
Some commenters actually talked about how Henson’s account was just one side of the story, and that more details had to be known before truly knowing if racial profiling had gone on. For those who didn’t want to believe Henson, for whatever reason, just listen to the 911 call and see why the jewelry store sure as hell sounds like they didn’t want the hoops player and/or his entourage in the store because he was African-American.
The call came to cops after, according to a report from Katie Crowther of the Milwaukee Journal, a store employee at Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers received what she described as a suspicious telephone call from either Henson or one in his group.
Here’s a transcript of some of the discussion:
Store Employee: “We just had a couple suspicious phone calls lately at this store, and we were just wondering if for the next hour, one of the Whitefish Bay cops could park in front of the store until we close.”
911 Operator: “What were the phone calls about?”
Store Employee: “They were just asking about what time they’re going to close. They just didn’t sound like they were legitimate customers.”
Henson, who was going shopping for a watch, had been asked to leave by employees when he approached the door, with the workers inside hiding in the back office, which is mentioned in the phone call to cops:
Store Employee: “The officer told us if they came back, we’re supposed to call again. They’re at our front door now and we’re not letting them in. I am hiding in the office. I don’t want them to see me out there. We’re pretending like we’re closed. They’re looking in the window. They’re just kind of pacing back and forth. I don’t feel comfortable letting them in. I just really don’t at all.”
After police questioned Henson and his group, confirming the Bucks’ players identity and determining he wasn’t a threat, the store still practically refused to let him shop:
911 Operator: “I have officers there asking you to come to the front door if you would please?”
Store Employee: “Why? I don’t feel like it. Why do I have to come to the door. Can the officer come to the back? I’m not coming to the front door.”
After unlocking the doors, employees requested the officer stay, but the officer mentioned, “I refused to stay in the store while he shopped.”
Tom Dixon, the president of Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers, issued an apology to John Henson, but the athlete wasn’t all too impressed, saying that racial profiling is never acceptable.
Based off of Henson’s original depiction of what happened and these released 911 phone calls, it sounds like the store’s “normal clientele” aren’t African-American, and because of Henson is black, they felt like he was sketchy, and that’s ridiculous in so many ways no matter the reasoning.