PARKLAND, Fla. – A lawyer who recently moved into his new home in a Parkland gated community says he was racially profiled while out for a late-night jog — and he posted about the interaction on social media.
“It was a very unpleasant feeling,” says Josiah Graham, who is Black.
The 31-year-old lawyer and his fiancé just moved into their home in the Parkland Golf and Country Club community in August.
About a week ago, Graham was out for a late jog.
“As I’m running, I see this guy make a U-turn,” Graham recalls.
In a video he shot on his phone as a security SUV approached, Graham says: “This dude is still following me. I can’t even go on my late-night runs — what I do every single night.”
Graham posted the video on Instagram with the caption: “It be your own people” — facepalm emojis included.
The guard who stopped him, he says, was also Black.
“It’s a weird feeling to think that someone assumes you don’t belong,” Graham says. “People who have — who suffer from preconceived notions, or certain biases and prejudices — that’s not unique to the white community. Sometimes, the black community subscribes to those same notions.”
The guard was driving an Allied Universal SUV.
Allied employs more than 200,000 people and does security for more than 50,000 sites.
Being the lawyer he is, Graham had a letter drafted to the company “wanting to know what actions, if any, would be taken regarding the incident.”
He also asks about bias training at the company, to prevent “any further untoward interactions.”
Local 10 News has reached out to Allied Universal and has not heard back.
“I get the importance of having someone who does their job the right way,” Graham says. “However, that should not mean that other people are targeted, or approached or stopped unnecessarily based on how they look.”
Graham said this interaction doesn’t tarnish the way he feels about the community he moved into, but he said it does encourage him to get involved with the homeowner’s association.