Adam Bloom Sonoco: fired for calling police on black mum at pool.
A WHITE American man has lost his job after video footage emerged of him being accused of racism for questioning a black woman’s right to use of a community pool.
The footage, which has had more than four million views on Facebook, was filmed by mother Jasmine Edwards who went to the pool on Independence Day, July 4.
She was approached by Adam Bloom outside the pool in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Edwards claimed the incident was a case of racial profiling after he questioned whether she had permission to use the pool.
“This is a classic case of racial profiling in my half a million $$ neighbourhood pool. This happened to me and my baby today. What a shame!!,” she wrote.
Bloom, who was the chairman of the pool, can be seen having a conversation about her ability to access the pool in the video, after Bloom called the police.
Edwards accuses him of singling out her and her young son as African-Americans by asking to see her identification.
Bloom told her that he asks residents to see their identification “a couple times” each week.
“Where does it say that I have to show an ID to use the pool?” she asked.
Officers later determined that Edwards lives in the neighbourhood and had keycard access to the gated pool.
The police officer apologises to her, but when Edwards asked Bloom for an apology, he walked away.
But that wasn’t the end of the incident.
Bloom’s employer, a global packaging firm Sonoco Products, decided to fire him after the video went viral.
The company said in a statement that although the incident happened outside of work, the company does “not condone discrimination of any kind.”
A LinkedIn page in which he had listed his position as a value realisation leader was later shut down.
Bloom later resigned as the “pool chair” and a board member from the homeowners association of Glenridge, his community in Winston-Salem.
The association apologised in a statement and said Bloom “escalated a situation in a way that does not reflect the inclusive values Glenridge seeks to uphold as a community.”
In an interview with NBC News, Bloom continued to apologise for his actions.
He said he regretted how he handled the incident, saying that he could have been “more empathetic to how she may have felt.”
He said he was shocked by the attention the incident received and was “overwhelmed by the response,” calling it “nothing I would’ve ever anticipated.”
But he added that he was “not surprised by social media’s desire to only get part of the story.”
“I’m so hurt that I in any way made another person feel small, maligned and called out,” Bloom said.
“And so my goal here is to give you better expression of my full view as a person, and express my sincere regret for the actions that I took that day.”
As for his job, Bloom said: “I’m heartbroken that I’m no longer on that team, but unfortunately we felt at the end of the day talking through it that the company’s best interest would be uh served without me.”
Mr Bloom’s lawyer defended his client’s actions in the New York Post.
John Vermitsky said: “He had a pool member come to him and say ‘this person doesn’t appear to be a pool member’ and asked to check their credentials, as he’s required to do so.”
“This guy is really having a very difficult situation and dealing with backlash for something that’s pretty undeserved. If you notice, he remains very calm — doesn’t make any racial epithets or anything. 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,” he said.
Winston-Salem Police Department said officers “maintained neutrality” when they arrived and spoke with Bloom and Edwards.