Winston-Salem, NC – A man has been accused of racial profiling after he asked a black woman for ID at his community pool on the 4th of July.
Now, he has been fired from his job and had to go into hiding with his family after a video of the incident went viral (video below).
But John Vermitsky, an attorney for the man, said that the video didn’t tell the entire story of what happened to prompt the police to be called, NBC News reported.
Adam Bloom was only trying to enforce the rules of the pool that restricted its use to residents of the Glenridge neighborhood, Vermitsky explained.
Vermitsky said another board member first asked Jasmine Edwards for her address because she didn't recognize her as a resident in their neighborhood, NBC News reported.
Edwards provided an address on a street where the houses have not yet been built, Vermitsky said.
So that board member asked Bloom, who was also on the board of the homeowners’ association and chairman of the pool committee, to verify Edwards' address, Bloom’s lawyer said.
Bloom asked Edwards for her address, and she gave him a different address from what she had given to the first board member, prompting Bloom to ask to see her identification.
Edwards refused, and accused Bloom of racial profiling, Vermitsky said. That’s when Bloom called police to sort the matter out as a “neutral third party,” he said.
When police arrived at the pool, the woman ranted and raved about the fact that nowhere on the pool rules posted did it say that she had to show ID to get into the pool.
She and her son were the only black people at the pool so the board members’ questions had to be racial profiling, she told police in the video.
“No one else was asked for ID… I feel this is racial profiling. I’m the only black person here with my son in the pool, and he walked only to me to ask for my ID,” Edwards told the officers.
Another woman off-camera can be heard disputing that, and saying that her own child was also black and in the swimming pool.
Bloom told the officers that he checked IDs on residents at the pool a couple of times a week. He explained that nobody was checking pool passes and requiring sign in as usual that day because the pool staff was cleaning up from a flood the prior day.
Because the sign didn’t say anything about requiring photo ID for entry, the officers mediated the dispute by testing out the woman’s pool pass to see if it worked to open the pool gate.
“It turns green and it unlocks,” the officer said and handed the pool pass to Edwards, who apologized for their time being wasted.
Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson said they officers had not responded to the call at the swimming pool to take sides.
"The issue was brought up. The officers asked the questions that needed to be asked to get the issues resolved," Chief Thompson said.
"They were able to prove that Jasmine had what she needed to get into the pool. At the end of the day, there was no need to see an ID, at that point, because there was nothing to say that an ID was necessary,” the chief said.
Edwards told the officers that she wanted to press charges on Bloom for racial profiling, and the officers explained that her complaint was a civil matter, and not in their purview.
“It would be nice if you apologize!” Edwards told Bloom, who ignored her and thanked the officers.
“Do you want to apologize? Adam? Adam! Do you want to apologize Adam, for what you did?” Edwards demanded, following him back into the pool as she continued to film him.
Bloom appeared to be gathering his children together to leave the pool, as Edwards followed demanding an apology. He did not issue one at the time.
However, in the few days that have elapsed since the incident occurred, Bloom has changed his tune.
In a letter Vermitsky sent to WXII, he said Bloom wanted Edwards to "feel welcome at the pool and is deeply regretful if his enforcement of the rules appeared to be racially motivated."
His attorney also said that Bloom had resigned his positon of as chairman of the pool committee, and left the neighborhood’s board altogether after the incident.
"It's just really hard for me to know I made another person feel that way," Bloom told NBC News. "I express my sincere regret for the actions I took that day."
On Friday morning, Bloom’s employer tweeted an announcement that Bloom was no longer employed by the company because his behavior at the pool did not “reflect the core values of our company.”
The video quickly went viral and has been viewed more than 5 million times across multiple platforms since Edwards posted it late on Wednesday afternoon.
His attorney said that Bloom has been receiving death threats, and has had to go into hiding with his wife and children at a safe location, NBC News reported.
You can see the viral video of the incident below: