The temperature in Winston-Salem, North Carolina crested at 90 degrees on July 4 - the same day Jasmine Edwards and her son, both African-Americans, sought cool waters of their private community pool.
Adam Bloom was there too, confident in his charge of helping enforce neighbourhood rules as the 'pool chair' of the Glenridge Homeowners Association. He asked Edwards to show identification to prove she belonged. Then he called the police.
And the four of them - two officers, Edwards and Bloom - stood outside the pool gate, unsure how the latest incident of police response to public blackness would unfold.
Police had already arrived when Edwards began filming the incident in a video she later posted to Facebook. At the beginning, she tells officers that Bloom walked past other residents at the pool to single her out.
"Nobody else was asked for their ID. I feel this is racial profiling," Edwards says in the video. "I am the only black person here with my son in the pool."
Edwards could not be reached for comment. Bloom's attorney, John Vermitsky, said in a statement provided to The Washington Post that the pool chair was doing his job by enforcing the rules and has since suffered from the backlash to the video. Sonoco, a South Carolina-based packaging company, said Bloom "is no longer employed by the Company in any respect." The Glenridge Homeowners Association also accepted Bloom's resignation.
The incident unfolded in a leafy, exclusive neighbourhood in northwest Winston-Salem. A massive four-bedroom home for sale on Bloom's street is currently listed on the real estate website Zillow for more than $400 000. "Great sense of community and perfect for families," the listing says.
In the video, Edwards presses for any regulation to justify Bloom's call to police - namely, that identification must be carried in a swimsuit. Bloom, keeper of swimming pool regulations, is unable to point to posted regulations that suggest the rule.
A sign on the wall says residents and their guests were allowed and must sign in, but Bloom was unsure if there was a lifeguard on duty to accept sign ins, given the holiday.
But like the black boy mowing a lawn, black men waiting at Starbucks, three black women renting an Airbnb, the black man conducting real estate business, a black woman falling asleep in a Yale common room, and others, Edwards was on the receiving end of a burden of proof to belong somewhere they all say was tailor-made for them because of their race.
So Bloom had a solution. The pool had a key-card entry. Could she prove she had one?
Of course, Edwards says. She is in the pool in the first place.
"Am I going to jump over the fence? I'm with a baby," Edwards scoffs. "Am I going to throw the baby over?" She produces the key for the officer. The door clicks open.
The officer is satisfied. "I apologize for the time and the altercation that occurred, okay?" the officer tells Edwards. She apologizes for the time the officers spent there.
Bloom, however, is not satisfied. "A form of ID would have been helpful to validate," he says to the officer.
"It would be nice if you apologized," Edwards shoots back.
The officer went over the same territory - that a key card was good enough for him.
"They kind of make their way around sometimes . . . but that's good enough for me today," Bloom says.
The next moment earned Bloom the derisive and viral hashtag of #IDAdam, joining #PermitPatty and #BBQBecky, when Edwards reveals his name.
"Do you want to apologize, Adam, for what you did?" Edwards asks. Bloom said providing the address would have been "fine," but he ignores the calls for an apology.
Vermitsky, the attorney, alleges in the statement that his client got involved when a female board member, who is not named, approached Bloom saying Edwards was not familiar to her, and had allegedly given an address on "a road in the neighbourhood where houses were not yet built." Because Bloom could not reference the sign-in sheet, he approached Edwards, the statement says, and was given what turned out to be her correct address. The ID request, the attorney alleges, was to square the discrepancy in addresses.
Vermitsky said Bloom has removed swimmers from the pool for not having valid membership four times per season over seven years, and those removed have been of varying ages and races. The statement also condemns racism as "abhorrent, wrong and [having] no place in a free country."
The attorney called the video incomplete and misleading, and said Bloom has received death threats and has relocated his wife and three children to a "safe location."
The Glenridge Homeowners Association said in a statement provided to The Post that it accepted Bloom's resignation as pool chair and board member, effective immediately.
"We sincerely regret that an incident occurred yesterday at our community pool that left neighbours feeling racially profiled," the association said in its Thursday statement.
"In confronting and calling the police on one of our neighbours, the pool chair escalated a situation in a way that does not reflect the inclusive values Glenridge seeks to uphold as a community."
The association added it would reinstate the sign-in sheet and ensure policies were consistent for all residents.
Vermitsky told the Winston-Salem Journal that Bloom's resignation did not confirm any wrongdoing.
"I think the situation is unfortunate that conclusions are being reached by people who have seen a 46-second video of their interaction," Vermitsky told the paper. "He called the police to make sure that the interaction didn't escalate."
But Karam Gulkham, a lifeguard manager at the pool, told the Journal that Bloom's reasoning to involve police, or even to doubt Edwards belonged in the pool all the way to the end, was not so clear.
"Apparently it was not enough for him," Gulkham told the paper. "I don't know why he felt it wasn't enough."
The Washington Post