NAACP: Racial profiling incidents on the rise in Pa. during COVID-19 pandemic

NAACP: Racial profiling incidents on the rise in Pa. during COVID-19 pandemic

PITTSBURGH — A local man claims he was racially profiled while picking up food with his girlfriend.

Farooq Al Said told Channel 11 he and his girlfriend were both wearing masks and said right after walking in the door he was profiled.

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"First thing they say is, ‘We're being robbed.’ Or, ‘I'm sorry, are we being robbed?’ And I responded that's not funny. This is a serious time. We can't even come out of the house and be safe without being scrutinized or worse."

Kenneth Huston, Pennsylvania State President of the NAACP, said members of his organization across the state are reporting an increase of being racially profiled while wearing the mandatory personal protective equipment.

“I’m not surprised at all,” he said. “We just had some 11 branches report some racial situations in grocery stores where they have been followed."

Huston said his group is still telling their members to wear masks in stores and follow all of the orders issued by Gov. Tom Wolf regardless of how some may perceive them.

"We understand that there are times that you really feel like you’re being targeted, but this is the time that we’re in. The rhetoric that’s coming from Washington, D.C. stokes this kind of stuff,” Huston said.