CONTACT: Sadiqa Sakin, Seattle/King County NAACP
The King County Chapter of the NAACP strongly condemns the racial profiling incident at Menchie's Yogurt on November 13, 2018, in Kirkland, Washington. On that day, Kirkland Police Officers unlawfully evicted Byron Ragland from a public accommodation without adequate cause. Menchie's employees later admitted that Ragland did not pose any threat, or nuisance to anyone inside the premises. Instead, the staff at Menchie's indicated that Mr. Ragland’s presence in the store made them “uncomfortable” but could not provide any reason for their discomfort. This blatant example of racial profiling is unacceptable and likely a violation of Mr. Ragland’s right to enjoy public accommodations. The Kirkland Police Officers failed to take reasonable steps to safeguard Mr. Ragland from blatant discrimination and facilitated the discrimination by ordering Mr. Ragland to leave the premises, without identifying any justification for his eviction. The NAACP stands with Mr. Ragland and the entire community to declare that incidents of racial profiling that deny community members access to public accommodations will not be tolerated. The NAACP recognizes that the Kirkland Police department has introduced new policies and will be implementing training to ensure this does not happen again. The NAACP is prepared to work with local businesses and police departments to identify resources and implement training to ensure that all members of the community are safe and welcome in areas of public accommodation. In addition, the NAACP has historically taken legal action and economic action against organizations that stand in the way of our mission as the leading civil rights organization in the country. The King County Chapter of the NAACP is prepared to live up the legacy of our namesake and protect our citizens.
Leave a Reply.