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As reported by Fox 8 Cleveland a state rep and others are the target of racial discrimination and profiling by Ohio statehouse security at the Riffe Center near the statehouse in Columbus.

Representative Emilia Sykes of Ohio’s 34 district in Summit County says in one instance, she was followed by statehouse security to an elevator after presenting her security access badge.

“‘Well you just don’t look like a legislator,'” Rep. Sykes says recalling a second instance with security. “Then he corrected himself and said, ‘Well, you look too young to be a legislator.'”

Sykes Statement On Profiling By Capitol Square Security

State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) issued the following statement in response to the latest in a string of incidents where she and other black women lawmakers have been subjected to additional security measures when entering the Ohio Statehouse and other government office buildings. Upon entering the Riffe Center in Columbus last week, security officials stopped the Akron-area lawmaker despite her presenting her security access badge.

“Many times I have seen lobbyists, staff and others come through the same doors as I do, but are not subject to the same targeting and scrutiny. While not any everyday occurrence, the regularity of these additional searches leaves me uncertain with what type of shakedown I will receive when trying to get to committee or session.  

“I appreciate the need for extra security and I respect the admirable service of the highway patrol officers who protect us daily. However, simply brushing off these incidents as hiccups that come along with new security measures is becoming difficult.

“The confusion and uneven enforcement of security measures further highlight the ongoing chaos at the Statehouse. It is my hope that by coming forward we can finally resolve these issues so that I, my colleagues and the citizens who come to have their voices heard at the Statehouse can do so with without confusion or unfair targeting. Ensuring access to the statehouse – “The Peoples’ house” – is important to me, and it should be a shared priority by everyone at our state’s capitol.”

Follow the rest of this story on Fox 8


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