RHOA's Porsha Williams' Ex Says He Was Handcuffed and Accused of Stealing a Sandwich
Dennis McKinley says he was racially profiled by a police officer during a doctor's visit
McKinley wrote on Instagram that he was “accosted” and “racially profiled” by an officer with the Emory Police Department after he stopped to grab a bite to eat during a doctor’s visit at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta.
The entrepreneur wrote that the officer was standing in line when he purchased his sandwich, and that she accused him of stealing it.
“I had a receipt which could have easily ended her inquiry. There was a cashier that could have easily verified that I paid for everything I had,” he wrote. “There were a number of easy resolutions that could have deescalated the unnecessary racial profiling and my detention by this officer.”
Instead, McKinley wrote, the officer became “super aggressive,” allegedly placing her hands on her weapon and handcuffing McKinley “so tight that she caused injuries to both of my wrists.”
“I was profiled. She was wrong. No apology. Just more vitriol – she blamed me for the entire situation,” he wrote. “I could have been the next hashtag because she was that aggressive.”
He continued, “It happens to us everywhere, at any time, for any reason. I can’t let this go. This is not ok … Now, we can add going to the doctor or buying a sandwich while black to the list of things we cannot do.”
McKinley, who has hired attorney Michael T. Sterling, chronicled the incident in a series of Instagram photos and videos, the first of which shows him sitting handcuffed in a chair as two officers speak with him.
“It doesn’t have to be like this,” a voice can be heard saying.
Additional photos show his receipt, which includes the purchase of a soda and two chicken sandwiches, as well as pictures that show red marks on his arms and wrists.
In the comments section of the post, McKinley wrote that the officers “refused” to allow him to file a formal complaint.
Emory Police did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment, but issued a statement to Us Weekly.
“An Emory Police Department officer detained an individual suspected of not paying for an item. Once the officer learned the individual had purchased it, he was released,” the statement read.
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Sterling, who is married to RHOA star Eva Marcille, slammed the Emory Police Department’s response in a statement to PEOPLE, calling it “insensitive and telling.”
“There was no acknowledgment of Dennis’ anguish at being profiled, despite his total innocence,” the statement read. “There was no recognition by Emory of the indignity and humiliation Dennis endured at the hands of their officer: falsely accused, shackled like a criminal, detained without provocation, and completely frightened to death that this officer might physically harm him over the made-up accusation that he stole a sandwich. Emory’s response is appalling and served to only exacerbate the pain and shame that Dennis endured.”