Cops near Riverside, Calif., are accused of shaking down black barbershops for no reason, bursting through doors with armed SWAT teams wearing bulletproof vests.
"There was no evidence of criminal activity at these locations and no reason that these once-thriving businesses were singled out other than racial profiling," said Peter Bibring, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, which filed the lawsuit. "These raids were a blatant violation of these business owners' civil rights."
At one barber shop the police ran criminal warrant checks on barbers and customers, the lawsuit claims. The ACLU said a barber who objected was handcuffed and detained in a police car for 10 minutes. SOURCE
Hair Shack owner Kevon Gordon, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, said he and his customers were "treated like criminals simply because of the color of our skin."
"It was sickening," he said. "I have lost good customers and had my reputation called into question in a community where I've been working for 20 years. I wouldn't wish this on anyone."
This is just strange. Would police ever burst into a SuperCuts? I doubt it ... but people in the hair business say that it IS actually plausible. Hair and beauty businesses of all kinds get checked out by authorities to make sure they are up on their licenses and such.
I don't buy that. These officers had guns drawn! You don't need a gun to inspect a barbershop.