Tourist claims video shows friend being racially profiled by police at ski resort

The incident went viral on video-sharing platform TikTok, with accusations of racism being levelled at the local police force

Tom Fenton
Thursday 27 January 2022 16:26
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TikToker says police ‘racially profiled’ her friendship group at a ski resort
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A woman has uploaded a series of videos to TikTok alleging that she and a group of friends were racially profiled by police while they were at a skiing resort.

The woman, who goes by Courtney, was with her friends at Camelback Resort in Pennsylvania, where they had been enjoying snow tubing and other winter-related activities.

However, the day trip took a bad turn just after, as she claims that a friend of hers was subsequently accused of stealing a pair of gloves and goggles from a gift shop after police identified a Black, male suspect. The first video she uploaded to TikTok shows an interaction between her friend and a police officer present.

According to Courtney, the group had been walking to get refreshments when a police officer approached them. She then claims to have overheard the officer saying “give the merchandise back” to one of her friends.

“So because we left the store and a man that probably left the store before or after us, that means that we stole?” Courtney ask him. The officer then said yes, according to the TikToker.

Courtney adds: “There were other people in the store, Caucasian, but they were also in the store and they also left behind us, so did you ask them if they knew this man?”

“Just because the guy is Black and we’re Black doesn’t mean we know him just because we all walked out at the same time.”

Courtney said due to the fear that they would be arrested, someone from the group took a picture of one of the officer’s phones that had a photo of the man who allegedly stole and with another woman beside him.

The police officers believed the woman standing next to the man to be part of Courtney’s group. The TikToker posted photos of each person in her group and then compared it to the original photo, showing that the possibility of confusing the two people was remote, to say the least.

“Don’t go to the f*****g Camelback Resort, especially if you are of color,” Courtney says in one video. “It’s not worth it, it doesn’t make sense, and they’re f*****g racist.”

Another TikTok user asked how the situation ended: “We all knew our rights so we walked away after showing them it wasn’t us,” Courtney replied.

Camelback Resort managing director and vice president Kit Pappas provided the following statement to The Independent: “We were distressed to learn of our guests who were wrongly accused of shoplifting at our resort this weekend.”

“We want to emphasize that Camelback Resort does not tolerate bias of any kind and has clear non-bias policies in place regarding discrimination and harassment.

“We recognize we need to do better to promote equality, respect, and inclusion across our community and we will commit to doing our part. As an immediate response, we will reinforce our diversity, equity and inclusion training for all employees,” Mr Pappas added.

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