Mount Vernon, New York Mayor Richard Thomas says that he was racially profiled while visiting a JP Morgan Chase Bank, according to The Journal News.
Thomas and his staff were seeking to gain access to the city’s financial information. He was with Marilyn Crawford, president of the city’s Industrial Development Agency and Mount Vernon police Detective Jose Centeno.
“A company spokesman insisted that neither the mayor nor his entourage was profiled. Police was called at the direction of corporate security because an employee saw the plainclothes detective had a gun but did not know he was a police officer,” the report said.
The report went on to explain the situation. Adding that, “When the officer and a sergeant arrived, a managing director for JPMorgan Chase told them the mayor had become agitated while waiting for a long time. It was unclear from the report whether the managing director knew that Centeno was a police detective. He told the police that Centeno had left to go get food and when he came back he was not allowed in because he had a gun. Corporate security told the office manager to contact police because the man was armed.”
However, Thomas said that it was a serious issue.
“As a mayor [and] as a young, well-educated black man living during this turbulent time in society where police are being called on black people for going about everyday life, this is unacceptable,” Thomas said.
Bank spokesman Joseph Evangelisti said his staff acted appropriately.
“Our staff acted appropriately,” he said.