Klay Thompson on Tiburon PD Racial Profiling Incident: 'S--ts Really Exhausting'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2020

Golden State Warriors and former Washington State guard Klay Thompson looks on during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game between Washington State and Oregon State in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. Washington State retired Thompson's jersey number during halftime of the game. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Young Kwak/Associated Press

Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson demanded change after Black business owners were racially profiled by police last Friday in Tiburon, California.

Ali Thanawalla of NBC Sports Bay Area provided the message from Thompson's Instagram story:

Ali Thanawalla @Ali_Thanawalla

Klay sounds off on Black business owners being racially profiled in Tiburon. (Via Klay Thompson's IG story) https://t.co/AoXAiQRtPg

KTVU's Debora Villalon reported the treatment of Yema Khalif and Hawi Awash, a couple who owns the YEMA clothing store in the city, led the Tiburon Police Department to launch an independent investigation into the officers' actions.

"We've lived in this community for 10 years. We are the only Black-owned store in Tiburon, and people know who we are," Khalif said.

Khalif and Awash explained they were working with new inventory after the store closed when they witnessed a patrol car circle the block four times around 1 a.m. They asked to speak with the officer's supervisor after an initial exchange, and a third policeman arrived at the scene, as well.

"I was really shaken up because there was a third cop who had his hand on his gun the whole time," Awash told KTVU.

Video of the incident shows the supervisor becoming agitated with the couple's stance that they shouldn't have been questioned while working in their own store, per KTVU.

"Do you want us to look out for the community or let anyone in here to steal all your stuff?" he asked. "You don't sound like you're very grateful; you sound defensive."

"A white person, whose name he doesn't need and identification he doesn't check, has to tell him we're OK," Khalif told KTVU.

The report noted YEMA was named the Business of the Month by the Tiburon Chamber of Commerce in May.