Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor said he was just trying to do some business, but felt like the victim of racial profiling after the cops were called on him last week.
Via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, the situation began when Chancellor and four friends were outside a gym which had closed, looking inside through the windows. He said he was interested in buying the property (he runs a group of boot camp-style fitness operations), and when he saw two female employees inside he tried to get their attention to get some information. Instead, they tried to motion him to go away, and later called police.
“The first thing the lady did was look at us with an evil, devil look and shooed us off,” he said during an interview with Power 99.1 FM, saying it was “just crazy how you have to go through that in 2016.”
He was five blocks away when the police pulled him over, at which point he explained the situation and was allowed to leave.
The club’s owner released a statement apologizing for the confusion but backing his employees.
“We regret this unfortunate incident but completely support the actions of our employees,” owner Ryan Neal said. “Our team responded in a manner as instructed by me under the guidance of the Redmond Police Department. We always err on the side of caution when an individual or individuals try to gain entry to the club unannounced. We have recently had attempted break-ins and still have members’ property in the club that we need to protect until returned.
“I have confirmed with Redmond PD that our employee response was appropriate given the situation, but we are nevertheless conducting a review of the security footage to ensure their response was appropriate. As the owner of the Redmond Athletic Club, I have attempted to reach out to Mr. Chancellor to discuss his interest in the purchase of the club in a traditional business discussion. If Mr. Chancellor or anyone else is interested in the club or our equipment, they can reach out to me directly or attend our public auction in April.”
The person who called 911 from inside the gym said three of the people looking in were African American and two were white, and that they had been standing outside the gym for 10 minutes.
“I don’t know what’s coming next. They are bad news,” she said. “I don’t know if they are homeless kids. I know that there used to be a lot of heroin addicts around here.”
The police described the situation as a misunderstanding, though Chancellor obviously feels differently. But the next time he’s looking for information about a potential business lead, he might also consider using the telephone during business hours.