'We don't want you here': Racine business owner feels targeted because of her race
RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) – A Racine woman feels targeted by residents possibly because of her race. She was legally selling dessert out of her food truck when she had the police called on her several times.
On the Fourth of July, Racine business owner Yolonda 'Yogi' Blair was selling her pudding near a busy Racine street and beach, before she said she was targeted. Blair owns the business, Yogi’s Pud’n. She sells pudding and also runs a food truck on holidays and events.
“It’s really good and everyone loves it and I love everyone that loves it,” Blair said.
Blair parked right by Milwaukee Blvd. and English Street in Racine on July 4, which is near homes and alongside a beach. Resident Jeff Tarkowski lives one house away from where she was parked and tried the pudding.
“It was delicious very good pudding,” Tarkowski said.
However, not everyone on the block felt the same. Blair said she was approached by another resident who wanted to see her permit.
“I said it’s in the window and he’s like no I’m going to call the police,” Blair said.
According to the police report, she got not one but two police visits within a couple hours because of noise complaints.
“I was like are your freakin’ kidding me?" Blair said. "An officer already came."
Blair says she showed her permits to both officers, but neighbors continued to complaint to her about her generator that they said was loud.
She said a neighbor told her, "you’re not supposed to be here and we don’t want you here."
Blair said she would understand if it was a normal day.
“But on the Fourth of July when all this noise is happening constantly,” Blair said. “Come on”
Nearby resident Tarkowski said the noise didn’t bother him.
“It was loud when you were standing right there but when I came over here you couldn’t hear it at all,” Tarkowski said.
Blair thinks she could have been targeted for a reason other than the noise from her generator.
“You look all on Facebook you have white people just calling the police on black people for idiotic stuff,” Blair said. “I never thought something like that would happen to me here in Racine.”
Blair said she thinks this incident was a waste of time for police officers, but says the officers that responded treated her with respect.