I was racially profiled at Disney Springs. What to do if it happens to you.

eric1985

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 17, 2017
But according to the OP the ‘officer’ didn’t do anything like this.... doesn’t that in itself suggest that the OP was being harassed? And as for the people taking photographs 🤮.

What ever happened surely people should try (at least) to empathise and not attempt to belittle an OP or disprove his account?
Because he accused the officer of racism, which is a heavy charge. People pull the race card on me and every police officer all the time because its convenient. I'm not saying its definitely not racial profiling, but the facts don't add up. How would you feel if you were accused of being racist if it wasnt true?
But according to the OP the ‘officer’ didn’t do anything like this.... doesn’t that in itself suggest that the OP was being harassed? And as for the people taking photographs 🤮.

What ever happened surely people should try (at least) to empathise and not attempt to belittle an OP or disprove his account?
If what he was saying is completely accurate...the yes it was wrong. But my sticking point continues to be that why ask is someone is armed and then not act? Weird. I wouldn't think a minority is armed more than any person. I would think the lone white male not with anyone else would be the most suspect.
 

Jennasis

DIS life goes on
Joined
Jun 11, 2000
Is it possible he thought you might have a weapon based on how your clothes were draped, or that you filled a description of someone that were BOLO'ing and he just wanted to get his K9 close enough to you to be able to scent something?

Hopefully they will get a response to you quickly. Sorry you went through all that.
 
  • Maggie Gallagher

    Peter Pan's Pixie
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2019
    I'm new to this board, so I'm not sure if this is the right forum to post in, but I wanted to share my recent experience at Disney Springs to help others who feel they were racially profiled.

    I'm a college educated, 58 year old minority. I'm a grandfather. I wear shorts and solid button down shirts, nothing loud or outlandish. I don't have dreadlocks, I have short salt and pepper hair. I've never felt that I was ever racially profiled or discriminated at any Disney theme park. My wife and I recently went to an AMC movie at Disney Springs. It was very crowded because it was the $5 movie night. As I came down the Orange parking garage stairs, I noticed two security guards dressed in all black standing with a K9 at the Splitsville restaurant doors, approximately 350 feet from me. I noticed one of the guards immediately eyeballing me, staring me down as I reached the bottom of the stairs, his dog wasn't looking in my direction. My wife and I had to walk close to the storefront opposite Splitsville because it was so crowded, approximately 75 ft from where the guards were.

    As we reached AMC, I tripped on something, it was the paw of the K9 that was close behind me. The guard who was eyeballing me was standing there. I didn't notice a badge. He asked if I was carrying a gun, I said no. A small crowd noticed what was going on and someone took a picture. I was carrying a small backpack and offered it for inspection, but he said it wasn't necessary and walked away. The only difference between me and the crowd between us was that I was a minority. My son's friend's father is the chief of police in a local town, I told him about the incident and asked if I was being paranoid or was I profiled. He said he didn't know, but at 350 ft, it's impossible that the K9 could have detected anything suspicious on me that would have triggered the guard to immediately stare at me, especially with the crowds walking between us. He said it's very rare, but some K9 officers have used their dog as the PC (probable cause) to stop and harass minorities because their K9 "detected" something. In my case, it's obvious that it wasn't the dog that instigated the stop, it was the guard.

    The incident left a bad taste in my mouth, so the next day I reported the incident to Disney security. They said their K9 guards only wear blue shirts and it may have been an Orange County deputy. I called them and they said their K9 officers wear a green uniform. However, sometimes other local departments supplement the Orange County Sheriff Dept during busy times. To get to the bottom of this, I had to file a claim with Disney. That was the only way Disney would launch an investigation, so I did and waiting for the results. Once they identify the officer, I intend to file a misconduct complaint with his department's internal affairs office. The footage from Disney's surveillance cameras will leave little doubt to the conduct of the officer.

    Racial profiling is repugnant in any form and NO ONE has to tolerate it. I was advised what to do next time and I'm sharing this information if it happens to you:
    1. CALMLY, get the name, badge number and department of the guard/officer.
    2. Note the time and location.
    3. File a claim with Disney's claims department. They will launch an investigation. If you just notify the complaint line, they'll read it, but there's no guarantee of a follow up. You must file a claim for any serious action to be taken. In my case, I stated I am not interested in any compensation, I just wanted them to identify the officer involved.

    Disney doesn't want the sheriffs and police officers who work on their property to racially profile and harass their minority guests. If they do, report them immediately. It's the only way to weed them out. Disney carries a lot of weight, if they don't want a particular officer on their private property, they can make it happen.

    On a side note, the Orange County Sheriff I spoke with said the extra security was due to the recent mass shootings in Ohio and Texas and perhaps that's why I was stopped and questioned about carrying a gun. First of all, those shooters were both white males in their 20's. The Parkland FL shooter was a white male in his 20's. I'm a 58 yr old minority grandfather, I hardly fit that profile.
    I’m really sorry that happened to you. I hope that you get it resolved to your satisfaction.
     

    J-Dog

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 4, 2016
    I'm sorry this happened to you, OP. I believe you were racially profiled, and I don't think it's right for anyone else here to say it didn't happen when they weren't there experiencing it.
    Wait... So you believe it WAS racial profiling, but "don't think it's right for anyone else here to say it didn't happen when they weren't there experiencing it"? What gives you the right to an opinion but not anyone else?
     

    J-Dog

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 4, 2016
    I can't say whether or not the OP was racially profiled, and, as a minority, I'm sure that his experiences with authorities have been influenced by experience, culture, and recent events in a different way than I have been.

    BUT - the OP posted on a public forum. If he only expected support and hand-holding, and didn't think anyone would question his motives, then he must've just found the internet yesterday.
     
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2015
    Wait... So you believe it WAS racial profiling, but "don't think it's right for anyone else here to say it didn't happen when they weren't there experiencing it"? What gives you the right to an opinion but not anyone else?
    Because the OP is a person of color who has undoubtedly experienced this many times before in his life, plus he WAS there and said that's what happened. His perception on the situation is more valid than anyone else's.
     
  • J-Dog

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 4, 2016
    Because the OP is a person of color who has undoubtedly experienced this many times before in his life, plus he WAS there and said that's what happened. His perception on the situation is more valid than anyone else's.
    This has nothing to do as to whether you "believe" it happened. Obviously, other posters "believe" it didn't happen. What makes your opinion more important?
     

    MickyLynn

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 5, 2019
    This post was intended for and to help people who felt they were racially profiled on Disney property and what actionable steps are available to them. Things I wish I knew before. Racial profiling is a pattern, if people don’t stand up to it and hold those accountable by reporting it, then they’ll keep doing it to others. I doubt a guard would be fired for 1 or 2 complaints, but a dozen complaints would. If you want something to be done, you have to file a claim with Disney:

    1. Ask the officer why you were stopped. CALMLY request the officer’s name, badge number and department. Don’t assume they are Disney security. If they’re not wearing a blue shirt, they’re probably not.
    2. Note the time and location. See if there are any visible cameras.
    3. File a claim with Disney.
    4. You will be assigned a case number and receive a call the next business day.
    5. You will be asked to give a recorded statement.
    6. They will initiate an investigation and they WILL respond with the results of that investigation.
    Thank you for taking the time to compose this. Knowing how to address issues with security is important information. Protocol can be overwhelming for anyone after an incident has occurred, whether it be an issue of race, ability, gender, or anything else.
     
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2015
    This has nothing to do as to whether you "believe" it happened. Obviously, other posters "believe" it didn't happen. What makes your opinion more important?
    Because I'm supporting the OP who was there and believed it happened. I'm trusting him that he's sharing his honest perception. How would you feel if you shared your experience with something, and a bunch of posters who weren't there tried to discredit you?
     

    robinb

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 1999
    I have no doubt Disney racially profiles people. I have a friend who lives locally who looks “middle eastern”. He is pulled aside for extra security every single time, everywhere he goes, including WDW. He has a much better attitude about it than I would have. I commend his patience in the face of constant hate, racism and mistrust.

    I’m sitting her trying to imagine how I would react if a security officer came up to me and asked me if I had a gun. I’m not sure if I would be completely incredulous or if I would burst out laughing. Then again, security officers don’t ask white women in their 50’s if they’re packing.
     
  • vacationer1954

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 27, 2010
    I think before we jump to racial profiling, we need more information. There is NO WAY I as a police officer would walk up to someone and ask them if they're armed without having some sort of information that they were armed or acting suspiciously. If I did ask, I wouldn't take that person's word that they didnt have a weapon and just let them walk away.
    So what you are saying is that whoever this was wasn't following normal police procedures. Interesting.

    Where do you serve Eric? I've noticed a distinct difference in the behavior of police officers from different parts of the country, and I also feel that there is a difference between how well-trained urban and suburban police officers and state troopers are versus sheriff deputies.
     

    nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    My post wasn’t an attempt to convince people I was racially profiled nor convince them it even exists. I’m wasn't seeking validation from anyone nor do I need it. I was there, you weren't. Besides, this post wasn’t for them.
    You mentioned that you're new to the board. If you stick around, you'll see that controversial and potentially shocking experiences like the one you described happening to you will be discussed in depth. Your experience is making a big statement against Disney Springs security, so its natural for people to want to better understand exactly what happened. If you're going to implore people to file claims when they feel they're experiencing the same type of thing, its only fair that people will ask questions.
     

    cvjw

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 22, 2005
    My poor husband, white and middle aged gets singled out for extra screening EVERY single time we fly, for many, many years. Before everyone went thru the metal detectors at Disney, he was always “randomly” selected.

    It has become a joke in our family.

    The officers are just doing their job. Trying to keep all of us safe. It isn’t an exact science and obviously innocent people get extra scrutiny when it isn’t needed.
     

    Welsh_Dragon

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 23, 2019
    My poor husband, white and middle aged gets singled out for extra screening EVERY single time we fly, for many, many years. Before everyone went thru the metal detectors at Disney, he was always “randomly” selected.

    It has become a joke in our family.

    The officers are just doing their job. Trying to keep all of us safe. It isn’t an exact science and obviously innocent people get extra scrutiny when it isn’t needed.
    But isn’t there a difference between what you describe and being asked outright whether you are carrying a gun? I would be terrified if a police officer in any country approached me and those were his/her first words to me.
     

    piccolopat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2014
    I did the exact opposite of mind reading. I don't think any of us was there and I take the OP at his word. Usually those apt to be profiled can identify it quicker than those of us who rarely, if ever have it happen.
    Just because the OP felt he was being racially profiled doesn't mean he was. I don't doubt how he felt at the time. Some people are more sensitive to things like this than others. If the security guard in question was only approaching minorities (or mostly minorities) with these types of questions then I would say he was profiled. There simply isn't enough info here to conclude that racial profiling occurred.
     

    lorimay

    🎃🍁🌻
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2008
    My son in law, of Hispanic origin, was always pulled aside every time they go to Disney ( before metal detectors installed)
    He is a police officer and for some reason they eyeball him, he just complies lets them pat him down and he's on his merry way.
     

    karen4546

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2012
    But isn’t there a difference between what you describe and being asked outright whether you are carrying a gun? I would be terrified if a police officer in any country approached me and those were his/her first words to me.
    OP, i am sorry you felt like you were being racially profiled. I wish we did not live in a world where this happens. We have 6 grandchildren and I hope they never experience anything like this.

    My husband wears cargo shorts to the parks sometimes and usually has a backpack (military style with his last name on it - he was in the U.S. Marine Corps) and he is pulled to the side 90 percent of the time. Even when he does not bring the backpack and we go through bagless entry, he is pulled aside. We don't mind genereally, but sometimes it gets old.

    All the best to you.
     

    cakebaker

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 27, 2013
    Just because the OP felt he was being racially profiled doesn't mean he was. I don't doubt how he felt at the time. Some people are more sensitive to things like this than others. If the security guard in question was only approaching minorities (or mostly minorities) with these types of questions then I would say he was profiled. There simply isn't enough info here to conclude that racial profiling occurred.
    As I said, I take him at his word. He didn't ask us to determine if he was correct or not, so not judging.
     


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