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An off-duty police officer is claiming to have been racially profiled for wearing his hoodie in a Montgomery, Ala. mall last month. 26-year-old Terence Scott has since filed a lawsuit in the Montgomery County Court against ERMC, the company which provides security services for Eastdale Mall, where he was shopping.

According to court documents, Scott and his fiancée, Cherkuita Brown, also an employee of the Montgomery Police Department, were walking to their car when a security officer approached them. “His face was clearly visible, thus reflecting both his gender and ethnic background,” states the suit of Scott’s appearance.

The guard instructed Scott to take off his hoodie, to which he complied, before deciding to put it back on due to the weather. The lawsuit goes on to state that after being told to leave through a specific exit, Scott was approached and assaulted by two other security officers, one of whom choked him. The altercation continued until another off-duty officer recognized Scott and informed the guards of his status.

In the aftermath, Scott was treated for a bruise on his neck, a strained right elbow, and strained right thumb. He is seeking unspecified damages.

Scott’s story runs close to that of Trayvon Martin who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, while wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Following his death, Fox News host Geraldo Rivera blamed the unarmed high school student’s decision to wear a hoodie for the cause of his death, before apologizing for the comments.


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