#CampaigningWhileBlack: Political Candidate Claims Racial Profiling After Being Confronted By Police

Roosevelt McClary/ Facebook

Breanna Edwards Sep, 17, 2018

Last week Roosevelt McClary, a candidate running for Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., City Commission was doing his best to campaign, going door-to-door wearing a t-shirt with his name and handing out literature.

That was until he was stopped by Broward County Sheriff’s deputies in unmarked vehicles who demanded that he sit down and show his ID. Annoying enough as that is, McClary truly believes he was racially profiled, especially when he saw that a police helicopter had joined in on the encounter.

“I don’t see why there’s a whole bunch of detectives and police cars out there, helicopters,” McClary told the Miami Herald. “They had dogs out there!”

According to the Herald, the incident all started on Wednesday when McClary apparently set off an alarm at a house where no one was home. The 30-year-old knocked on Lissette Guevara’s door, but no one was home, so he says he left his campaign flier in her door jamb and went about his business.

That is, until he was stopped five minutes later, as deputies in their unmarked vehicles suddenly pulled up on him as he was speaking to a voter and said that he matched the description of a home invasion suspect.

McClary says that he did not hear any alarm after he apparently set off the home security system. Guevara, who says that her alarm is so loud it can be heard outside the house, says that she called the police from work after a security contractor told her that someone had been on her doorstep.

McClary began to stream his encounter with police saying that he began to feel threatened. In the video, deputies are heard telling him that he matches the description, saying that they were told that a black man in khaki pants and white shirt was seen “exiting” the house.

My name is Roosevelt Mcclary elected Secretary of Broward Teacher Union who’s running for Lauderdale Lakes City Commission, Seat 1. During my break time, I decided to knock on doors to inform residents about my candidacy. 20 minutes of knocking on doors Broward County Sheriff officer pull up on me and tells me to get on the ground while I was talking to a resident at their home. The BSO inform me that I fit the description of a phone call from a resident that a black male with khaki pants and white shirt trying to break in their home then to the point of the black male walking into their living room. This is extreme radical profiling and false reporting by this resident by the way who wasn’t home at the time of their claim incident. I will seek justice to make sure this person who made this false report receive consequences.

Posted by Roosevelt Mcclary on Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Officers could be heard getting agitated when McClary accused them of discrimination, insisting that they were just doing their job to make sure that everything checked out.

“You act like I came to you and I’m cussing you. All I did was ask you can you please sit down, you match the description,” a deputy could be heard saying.

“I understand you’re doing your job,” McClary responds.

But McClary was left in disbelief when he saw a police helicopter fly overhead.

“I hope that’s not for me is it?” he asks before laughing. “Are you serious?”

The officers explain that this was in response to the possible home invasion. Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Veda Coleman-Wright also said that the situation was handed properly.

“Mr. McClary was not mistreated. The deputies took great care explaining to him what was going on,” she said.

However, McClary still believes what happened to him was over the top and wants to pursue charges against Guevara for making a false police report. Apparently in an incident report of the situation, Guevara claimed that her security contractor had told her that the suspect had been inside her living room.

Guevara denied that claim, saying that she never mentioned anything about an intruder in her living room, she also says she does not regret calling the police, noting that she has a 12-year-old son, and that her home had been burglarized of nearly $30,000 in property in the past.