Racial profiling doesn’t take a day off, even during the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Armen Henderson, who has been battling the novel coronavirus pandemic in the hospital he works for and on the streets of Miami, was detained in front of his own residence by a Miami police sergeant as he was loading his van with supplies for the homeless.
The incident took place last Friday, three days after Miami-Dade Police Chief Jorge Colina announced that at least six of his officers had tested positive for the coronavirus and an additional 125 had been quarantined pending test results. In a video statement, Colina pleaded with the public to help protect his officers: “Please, stay inside, adhere to social distancing, wear a mask or a cloth face covering and be responsible. We’re here for you. Please do your part for us.”
Dr. Armen Henderson, a black doctor in Miami, was loading medical supplies for the homeless into a van outside his house when he was handcuffed and detained by a police officer who was not wearing a mask.
In the midst of a pandemic, racism persists.pic.twitter.com/Zv5wGBeCdZ
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) April 14, 2020
Dr. Henderson, an internal medicine physician at the University of Miami Health System, said he is very concerned about the up-close encounter as the Miami-Dade police sergeant was not wearing a protective mask. The doctor told ABC News that the sergeant got “all up in my face.” Henderson feels that the sergeant detained him because he is black.
“He put me at risk,” Henderson said. “Now I feel like I should get tested, honestly. Most likely I will because he definitely was spitting in my face. I could feel it while he was yelling at me.”
We are aware of a video circulating on social media involving one of our patrol sergeants handcuffing a resident in the Flagami NET area. An internal affairs investigation is underway and is looking into the incident.
— Miami PD (@MiamiPD) April 11, 2020
“He just said, ‘Are you littering over here? Do you live here? Do you work here?’ And I was like, ‘Yes, I live here. This is where we put our bulky trash and the city comes to pick it up every week at this same place,'” Henderson said.
Colina said he has ordered an investigation of the incident.