CHICAGO — An African American Illinois lawmaker is calling attention to concerns that minorities have about wearing face masks in public during the coronavirus pandemic.
State Rep. Kam Buckner (D-Chicago) said he experienced one of those incidents, and he detailed the account on Twitter.
Buckner said it happened outside of a store in the South Loop. A Chicago police officer asked him for a receipt for the items in his cart and his ID.
The officer reportedly told him people are using the pandemic “to do bad things,” and that he looked like he might be up to something.
“Being a black male, I understand the historical context of a lot of the stereotypes that comes with our very existence,” Buckner said in an interview with WGN. “Myself, as well as other folks who I’ve had conversations with, were extremely apprehensive about the mask order. Even though I know its the right thing to do, we realize there are stereotypes in place that create these critical, implicit biases that put us in danger.”
Lt. Gov. Julianna Stratton responded to Buckner on Twitter, and said she was sorry to hear the incident had happened.
Several Democratic senators are asking federal law enforcement agencies to provide anti-bias training and guidance to officers.