Lawyer For Man Depicted In Winston-Salem Pool Incident Responds To Race Allegations
(Listen above to audio from the disturbance call released by the Winston-Salem Police Dept.)
The lawyer for Adam Bloom, the white man shown on video confronting a black woman at a Winston-Salem pool, released a statement to members of the media Friday afternoon.
In the letter, John C. Vermitsky says that as chairman of the Glen Ridge Community Pool, Bloom maintained the pool and worked with members to set and enforce rules and regulations.
In describing the incident, Vermitsky says that “a fellow board member approached Mr. Bloom with concerns regarding one of the pool patrons, who was later revealed to be Ms. Jasmine Edwards.” This member then approached Bloom, who intervened.
The letter continues to say that since this video went viral, Bloom has received death threats, lost his job, and been forced to resign from the homeowner's association. It also claims Bloom has “had to leave his home for a safe location for him, his wife, and his three small children.”
Edwards called what happened a classic case of racial profiling, and the recording of it has been seen millions of times. The news comes in the wake of several other high-profile cases of white people calling the police on black people who are living their daily lives. The incidents have also given rise to a popular hashtag, #LivingWhileBlack.
Meanwhile, the Winston-Salem Police Department released audio of the July 4th call that Bloom made to authorities. Bloom called the police on Edwards – whom the police identified as Jasmine Abhulimen – after asking her for proof of identification to show that she had the right to be at the pool.
The department also released a statement from Chief Catrina Thompson about the officers’ response.
The statement says that the officers maintained neutrality throughout the situation, and determined no crime had been committed. Thompson also points out that her officers are expected to de-escalate situations without any bias toward any of the participants.
Bloom is no longer employed by Sonoco, which posted the news on Twitter. The company said that the incident does not reflect the its core values, and apologized to Jasmine Edwards and her family.