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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton expressed his outrage and grief over two racially motivated incidents that occurred last week.

The first incident occurred last Thursday. He said, “A sheriff’s deputy from a neighboring county questioned and detained another Black Bloomington resident walking down the Bloomington street where they live in an apparent example of racial profiling.” 

FOX59 spoke with Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham about the incident. Branham said one of his detectives was cleaning out his vehicle (he lives in Monroe County) on Thursday morning around 9 a.m. when a neighbor came up to him and pointed out a man. The neighbor said the man was walking in the area and looking into cars.

The detective went inside his home, grabbed his badge and notebook, and spoke with the man. The detective recorded this conversation and called for Monroe County Dispatch to ask for a deputy to respond. The deputy arrived and took over the investigation.

It turns out the man lives in the neighborhood and regularly walks in the area. 

The second racially motivated incident occurred near Lake Monroe on July 4 around 8 p.m. It involved a white man pinning a Black man against a tree. 

Vauhxx Booker, the man who says he’s the victim in this incident, wrote in a Facebook post he and a group of friends were headed to watch the weekend lunar eclipse when the incident occurred.

He wrote in his post that the people in the video threatened him with a noose and said some other “choice slurs.”

You can read more about the incident here.

“These separate incidents exemplify the persistence of racism and bias in our country and our own community,” Hamilton said.