A Bay Street Emeryville business owner is alleging “racial profiling” by the Emeryville Police Department in an instagram video shared widely on social media over the weekend (over 15,000 views and 400 comments at the time of publication).
Emeryville Police Chief Jeff Jennings was quick to respond that the driver was not being forthcoming with his video commentary. Fortunately, the incident did not escalate into a physical confrontation.
The video posted on Instagram by “Foreign Glizzy” shows a man who identifies himself as the proprietor of the Foreign Family clothing retailer watching his vehicle apparently being rummaged through by officers.
Foreign Glizzy is the rap persona of Gary Williams Jr. who identifies himself as a Bay Area native.
Gloved Emeryville officers can be seen identifying possessions inside the teal colored Range Rover and apparently removing a California license plate in the cargo area of the vehicle. Williams can be heard several times saying that he “knew his rights” and refuting the right of the officers to search his vehicle because they “did not have a warrant.”
Officers interjected that they were not searching the vehicle but “inventorying” it prior to it being impounded. Williams can be heard calling out the names and badge numbers of the officers involved.
“Emeryville Police Department is Racist AF!” Williams later shared on his Instagram account describing the confrontation. “I’m a business owner in the city of Emeryville, he literally racially profiled me and pulled me over for no reason because I’m black and driving a nice vehicle. Searched my car for drugs and weapons and then on top of that told me they knew who I was before they even pulled me over. I don’t have a warrant, not on probation, never even been to jail! They called 4 cars for me, smh This shit really gotta stop!”
Williams encouraged his followers to “tag” The Emeryville Police instagram account and they were quick to oblige with a flurry of negative comments in their posts.
Chief Jennings quickly clarified the incident when we reached out to him. “The gentlemen was stopped for a moving violation. He was found to be an unlicensed driver (CA vehicle code 12500) and the car was unregistered for over a year (CA vehicle code 4000A). The car also had a fake license plate and the original plate was found inside the car.”
Jennings reiterated that the car was being inventoried prior to being towed which was “required by law.”
We have reached out to Williams to clarify if he will be pursuing legal action against the EPD as he stated or refuted any of their claims.
The video in its entirety is embedded below.
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Feature Image: Screen grab from @foreign_glizzy’s instagram video.