Another day, another reminder that to be Black and living your life in America can be looked at as a potential crime.
Case in point: A white woman called the police on a California man who was sitting in his car listening to a yoga CD.
According to FOX 11 News, Ezekiel Phillips dropped off a friend in Long Beach when he decided to take a 30-minute break in his car before his yoga class around the corner started. So, he turned on a Bikram yoga CD and chilled, but soon after a random white woman confronted him.
“You’re not supposed to be here. This is a good neighborhood,” Phillips claimed the woman told him.
Phillips, not wanting to snap off, simply said, “Have a good day ma’am. Namaste,” and rolled up his window.
But the woman kept hounding Phillips and taking pictures of him, which prompted him to get out of the car and begin to film her. That’s when things escalated. Apparently, the woman didn’t like being filmed and started screaming.
“As soon as I start filming her [she started screaming], ‘What are you doing?’ Leave me alone! I’m feeling threatened. Help! Help!’ It was one of those,” Phillips explained to FOX 11.
Soon after, the Long Beach police were called.
FOX 11 got access to the 911 call, where the woman says Phillips was waving at her and she was scared because she didn’t know who he was.
“I noticed him two houses up from my parents’ house and I’m like, you know and he’s waving to me. I don’t know who he is,“ she says to the dispatcher.
She added, “I go ‘why are you sitting in your car in our neighborhood? And he goes ‘I’m resting’ and I’m like you weren’t two blocks back.”
As the woman walks toward a neighbor’s house, Phillips followed her.
She started screaming, “I can’t get away from him! Get away from me!”
The woman also told 911 that Phillips had attacked someone, which never happened.
“Ma’am. When you say he attacked other persons, what did he do to them?” the operator asked.
“He’s trying to give his business card to this other guy that [is] proof that he didn’t do anything to me.”
Phillips stressed that while he want get back in his car and drive away, he decided to stay because he didn’t want for it to appear that he had done anything wrong.
When the Long Beach police arrived, they didn’t file an incident report and said no crime was committed. However, a spokesperson said that whenever people see something, they should say something and in this case, if the woman felt threatened, calling 911 was the right thing to do.
But for Phillips, he doesn’t understand why the police ever had to be called.
“You don’t have to call 911 on me. Talk to me. Ask me my name.”
Neighbor Kelly Odom told FOX 11 that the woman is racist and would have never treated white person like that.
“We all don’t feel that way,” Odom said referring to white people.
“I don’t think if somebody were white sitting in the car, somebody would have called the police. I don’t. I don’t.”
She continued. “I think it’s horrible. It’s acting ‘Trumpish’. It’s okay to be a racist and it’s not.”
In the end, Phillips hopes this situation can serve as a teachable moment.
“It’s no longer cool to allow your discomfort to say that my discomfort is more valuable than the potential fact that this call, your life can be taken.”