Friday, November 16, 2018

Group of White Women Test Mall’s No Hoodie Policy

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2018 at 10:24 AM

click to enlarge Shannon Arthur and others sport hoodies at Wolfchase Galleria - FACEBOOK
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  • Shannon Arthur and others sport hoodies at Wolfchase Galleria

Last week, four white women wearing hoodies said they walked more than a mile in the same mall where — less than a week earlier — four black men were removed for wearing hoodies.

At Wolfchase Galleria earlier this month, Kevin McKenzie, a former Commercial Appeal reporter was arrested for recording the group of black men being escorted from the mall for violating the mall’s no hoodie policy.

One of the women, Shannon Arthur, who posted about their recent visit to the mall on Facebook, said she and three other white women went to mall wearing hoodies “just to see what would happen.”

click to enlarge Kevin McKenzie - THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL
  • The Commercial Appeal
  • Kevin McKenzie

“This is the same mall where several young black men were recently kicked out, roughed up, and/or arrested for allegedly violating an unposted no-hoodie policy, and a bystander was also arrested for documenting the injustice with his smartphone,” Arthur wrote.

Arthur said that she and the other women walked through the mall both with their hoods up and down, and that if a security guard saw them with their hoods up, they would “very politely asked us to take them down.”

“One guard said it was because they need to be able to identify everybody’s faces,” Arthur said. “So we said, ‘sure,’ took them down, walked on, and put the hoods back up a bit later. Repeat. No threats. Point made.”

Arthur also noted that she saw mall patrons wearing baseball caps covering their faces, but they weren’t asked to remove them.

“I respect law enforcement,” Arthur said. “And mall cops. But there’s no question that some members of our community are constantly harassed and traumatized where those with less melanin are given a pass. We must do better.”

When asked about the no hoodie policy, Wolfchase Galleria said it focuses on providing a safe environment for all customers and employees.

“We require customers to not conceal their identity while on mall property as a matter of public safety,” the statement read. “It is important that our security cameras and security personnel be able to see the faces of everyone on property.”

See the original video that led to McKenzie's arrest below.

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