Milwaukee Bucks PF John Henson: I was racially profiled at jewelry store
In a lengthy Instagram post, Henson details his experience at Schwanke-Kasten, a high-end jewelry store in the Whitefish Bay neighborhood of Milwaukee.
“They locked the door and told me to go away. After I rang the doorbell twice everyone went to the back,” Henson wrote of what happened once he arrived at the store. “This was followed by two police cars pulling up and parking across the street and watching me for 5 minutes (I assumed they were called by the store). I was then approached by [two] officers and questioned about the dealer vehicle I was in.
“I told them I was just trying to look at a watch. [The officer] then had to go in the back and tell them to come out [and] it was safe but this is after they ran my plates and I overheard them talking about doing more of a background check on the car. The employees finally came out of the back and proceeded to conduct business like they previously were as we walked up.”
Henson was selected in the first round by the Bucks in 2012 out of the University of North Carolina. He signed a four-year extension with Milwaukee earlier this offseason.
“This was one of the the most degrading and racially prejudice things I've ever experienced in life and wouldn’t wish this on anyone,” Henson wrote. “You have no right to profile someone because of their race and nationality and this incident needs to be brought to light and I urge anyone who ever is thinking of shopping here reads this and doesn’t bring any business to this discriminatory place.”
The owner of the jewelry store told WISN 12 in Milwaukee that he was wary of Henson because he was driving a car with dealer plates and another car with dealer plates had been involved in suspicious activity at the store recently.
The Whitefish Bay police department issued a statement on the incident later Monday, confirming that they had received two calls from the store since Friday about potentially suspicious activity but were unable to confirm those suspicions.
The department said that after police informed the store employee that Henson was a Bucks player, the employee opened the door but asked the two officers to stand with Henson and the other man with him while they examined the watches. The officers refused.
- Rohan Nadkarni