Fort Lauderdale

‘Swim-in' Protest Brings Attention to Incident After Woman Racially Profiled at Pool

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Organizers held a "swim-in" protest Sunday after a Black woman says she and her family were racially profiled at a Fort Lauderdale park swimming pool.

Ghenete Wright Muir, also known as "G," is a member of nonprofit organization Diversity in Aquatics. Muir said it all started last week when she and her son, both competitive swimmers, were training in the pool at Joseph C. Carter Park when a white woman who was swimming in a lane between them became agitated.

"I said something to my son, and the lady in the lane between us said, 'You can't talk over my lane,'" Muir told NBC 6 earlier this week. "I immediately asked the lifeguard if that was a rule, and she said, there's no such rule."

Muir said the woman refused to switch lanes with her so she could be closer to her son. She then demanded staff to call police.

Officers shut the pool down, forcing everyone to leave. The white woman was seen getting out of the pool after Muir, who says she felt helpless, especially for her son. 

"It was traumatic for him not to protect me, me not to protect him, and were both rendered absolutely powerless in front of each other and ... That’s one of the most devastating parts," Muir said.

Kim Wynne spoke with the woman who said she was spending the day with her son when officers were called following an issue with another swimmer.

According to Diversity in Aquatics, the pool is historically Black - constructed during times of segregation. Their board chairperson released this in part: 

“We need to bring attention to the deplorable acts of racism, unequal allocation of power and resources which hinder the equal access of Black participants, which has even impacted two of our Diversity in Aquatics swim club members from rightfully participating in aquatic activities."

Organizers say Muir has gained some attention for also being an attorney - but they say they would speak up for anyone finding themselves in the same situation. 

“It’s made clear in a lot of media that G is a lawyer. G writes for the Sun-Sentinel. What we want to make clear is you don't have to be Black and educated, and you don't have to be Black and have connections to demand fair treatment, especially at a city park," said Nik Harris, LGBTQ Consumer Advocate of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs.

NBC 6 tried to contact the other woman involved in last week's incident, but she did not comment. In terms of legal action to any party involved, Muir says she has made no final decisions.

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