North Carolina woman claims racial profiling at neighborhood pool

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Police in North Carolina were called to a private community pool Wednesday when a white man asked a black woman for identification to prove she lived in the neighborhood, The Winston-Salem Journal reported.

Jasmine Edwards posted video of the incident on Facebook, writing that "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!!"

Edwards claimed in the video that the man — identified as Adam Bloom by his lawyer — reported her to authorities because she didn't have an ID card. On Twitter, the incident has been tweeted hundreds of times with the hashtag #idadam, the Journal reported.

Bloom's lawyer, John Vermitsky, told The New York Post that his client works for the Glenridge Homeowners Association, where he and Edwards live. Bloom held the position of pool chairman and board member, so he is required to ask people for IDs, the newspaper reported.

Attempts to reach Edwards and Bloom were unsuccessful Thursday.

According to the Journal, Bloom resigned from his position as pool chairman and board member on Thursday night, effective immediately.

“We sincerely regret that an incident occurred yesterday at our community pool that left neighbors feeling racially profiled,” the homeowners association said in a statement. “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 pool is gated and members have swim cards they must scan to get into the pool area, the Journal reported.

Karam Gulkham, a lifeguard manager for the pool, said that Bloom, who was in the pool area with his children, asked Edwards for identification.

"There's a keycard to the door to get into the pool," Gulkham told the Journal. "Apparently it was not enough for him. I don't know why he felt it wasn't enough."

Gulkham did not witness the incident, but said all lifeguards were told about it in a group message, the Journal reported.

In the video, Edwards is seen talking to Bloom in front of police officers.

“Where does it say that I have to show an ID to use my pool? My own pool,” she said. “I feel this is racial profiling. I am the only black person here with my son — and he walked all the way to me, to ask for my ID. He asked for my address. I give 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 said he asks residents “pretty much a couple times a week” to see some identification.

Edwards told police in the video that she had a keycard to enter the pool area. The woman then told officers she had a keycard to get in the pool.

“OK, let’s validate that it works, then,” Bloom said.

Moments later, Bloom told the officer that “They kind of make their way around sometimes. ... but that’s good enough for me today.”

The officers apologized to the woman. Edwards asked Bloom for an apology and he walked away, the Journal reported.

Gulkham, who was not at the pool on Wednesday, said all lifeguards were apprised of the incident via a group message. He said he spoke with Edwards on Thursday.

“I felt the need to apologize to the family,” he said.

Vermitsky said his client has been having “a very difficult situation” because of the incident

"If you notice, he remains very calm — doesn't make any racial epithets or anything," Vermitsky told the Post. "He was put in a very uncomfortable situation, trying to deal with conflicting responsibilities, and it's simply unfair. This guy is in a very difficult situation, and it's all because of a very misleading video."

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