Alonzo Taylor Jr., a 14-year old, was recently arrested at a movie theater in Kansas merely because of wearing sagging pants. Taylor believes the manager treated him harshly because he is Black.
Alonzo Taylor Jr. was hanging out with his friends last week to watch a movie at the East Warren 20 movie theater when the manager suddenly started shouted at him and threatened him that he would call the police if he doesn’t pull his pants up.
Taylor told the local news station KAKE that his pants were not particularly low, but he couldn’t find a belt to wear before going to the theater. Additionally, by the time the manager approached him, he was holding a popcorn and drink he just bought from the concession stand so he found it hard to pull his pants up.
“I was by the counter and he said that, ‘You’re going to have to leave. I don’t care what you did. You’re trespassing’,” he recalled.
Taylor said that he was still arrested even after complying with the manager’s instructions for allegedly trespassing in the movie theater. Taylor believes he was racially profiled because he is Black.
“I just don’t want my son’s record to be messed up over sagging and to be labeled as a trespasser,” Taylor’s mother, Ruth Dennis, said.
She added that her son is a good kid who doesn’t really get into trouble. She’s worried the arrest record over something as trivial as having sagging pants could damage her son’s future.
Taylor, meanwhile, is still shocked by the incident. “If he’s (manager) there, I honestly don’t want to go back. I’d rather go to a movie further than that,” he said.
Police says they are reviewing surveillance footage of the incident and have yet to decide if the teenager would face any charges. The movie theater where the incident happened hasn’t commented on the issue yet.