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Two police officers in Tennessee backed up a black real estate investor after a white neighbor called cops on him — the latest example of racial profiling incidents across the country.
In a 9-minute video posted to YouTube, real estate investor Michael Hayes detailed his May 5 visit to a home in Memphis he was inspecting before repairs were made.
“So we’re out here at a house now, one of where we’re under contract to pick up on, and for whatever reason, the neighbor has called the police on us,” Hayes said to the camera before asking the woman if the cops said when they’d be coming. “I mean, this is what we go through — [a] young black man out here trying to do what’s right and we get the police called on us.”
Hayes told the woman he had every right to be there, showing her his investment contract and a statement from the owner that he had permission to enter the home. Still, she was unmoved and called police, Hayes said.
“I’m really not sure what she wants me to do other than leave the neighborhood,” Hayes continued.
Hayes kept recording as two police officers responded to the home, where they quickly determined that Hayes was, in fact, allowed to be there.
“You keep the camera rolling,” a white male officer told Hayes. “If you have any problems with her, what I want you to do is call me back over here and she will go to jail today. I don’t fool around.”
The unidentified woman then claimed she had friends in the sheriff’s department, prompting the officer to quickly shut her down.
“I don’t care if you’re friends with the president,” the cop replied. “You’re going to let him do what he’s going to do. Listen to me — if you try to do anything to stop him, I’m going to take you to jail.”
Still not satisfied, the woman told Hayes to “hurry up” and do what he had to do and then “get out” of the neighborhood.
“No, he can take all day,” the cop replied. “He can do it all night, it doesn’t matter. He’s in control, he’s got a contract, so that is what it is.”
Concerned about his safety, Hayes then asked the cops to stick around for a few minutes while he took his pictures.
In a statement to The Post, the Memphis Police Department said the officers seen in the video were “examples of the vast majority” of cops throughout the department.
“Our officers will respond to all calls of service and are trained and expected to respond in a professional manner,” the statement read. “Regarding this specific incident, our officers responded and handled the situation accordingly. We are thankful to Mr. Hayes for recording a positive interaction with MPD officers and for sharing the true image of what our officers represent.”
The incident was the latest interaction in which neighbors called the police on law-abiding black citizens they deemed suspicious. Five days prior to the incident, a group of black filmmakers in California said they were stopped by cops while checking out an Airbnb unit after a white neighbor assumed they “were stealing from the house,” one of the women in the group posted on Facebook.