Black entrepreneur 'shocked' at assumption he is a pimp
Published Thursday, February 25, 2016 7:10PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 25, 2016 7:47PM EST
Mactar Mbaye, a black entrepreneur, owns a construction estimation company and most of his business can be done online. He has no office, so when he needed to interview a candidate for a job they agreed to meet at a Laval coffee shop.
The interview was going well until police officers came in and asked to speak with him.
“I didn't really know – I was shocked. [I thought] what happened? What did I do? I did go with them,” said the 23-year-old business owner.
Police were responding to a 911 call made from a customer inside who though Mbaye was a pimp recruiting the woman he was with into prostitution.
“When we get a call at 911, we answer all calls. No matter what the nature, no matter what it is. So a patrol car was sent on the scene and then a second patrol car [was also sent]. They met with the couple sitting at the table they asked the young black gentleman if they would follow him and talk away from the general public which he did,” said Laval police spokesperson Franco Di Genova.
Mbaye says the officers were respectful and that one even told him the call never would have been made if he was white. After running his name through their computer, he was released.
“I don't have any anger against the police – it's against the person who called just because I was black she thought I was a pimp,” he said.
He posted a video about his experience on Facebook and soon found out others had also experienced this kind of racial profiling. He's hoping his story will educate others.
DIFFICILE DE CROIRE CE QUI M'EST ARRIVÉ! IL NE FAUT JAMAIS JUGER UN LIVRE PAR SA COUVERTURE! UN HOMME NOIR PEUT RÉUSSIR SANS POUR AUTANT ÊTRE ILLÉGAL ! #blackhistorymonths #nonauracismePosted by Mactar Mbaye on Thursday, February 18, 2016
“This is something that happens a lot – we're in 2016. It's not supposed to,” he said.
There is some good news for Mbaye: business is going well, and the woman he interviewed for the job will be starting in a couple of weeks.