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Bay Area store owners say they were racially profiled by police, reaching a $150,000 settlement with the town

TIBURON, Calif. (KGO) – Nearly two years after Yema Khalif and his wife Hawi Awash said they were briefed by police about their race while working in their own shop in Tiburon, the couple announced they had reached an agreement with town. Tiburon agreed to pay the couple $150,000 and make significant changes that Khalif and Awash hope will make the upscale Marin County community a more inclusive place for all.

“We are not begging, we are asking to be treated with love, dignity and respect,” Khalif said Tuesday at a news conference in Tiburon.

“This is not just about me and Yema,” Awash added. “It’s about every Black and Brown who joins the Tiburon community, to the Belvedere community.”

The incident happened in late August 2020. The couple were working at night in their clothing store, Yema, when Tiburon police approached the store and asked the couple to prove they were the owners. The situation spread when a white neighbor shouted to the police that it was indeed their shop.

VIDEO: ‘Show Me It’s Your Shop’: Tiburon Police Ask Black Business Owner to Prove Who He Is

Full-body camera and mobile phone video of the interaction went viral. It led to the resignation of Chief Tiburon and one of the officers.

As part of the settlement, the town of Tiburon agreed to form a community advisory board. Members will be able to help veterinary candidates for the Tiburon police department. Khalif and Awash will be part of that table.

GET ACTION: Find resources to help address issues of equality, justice, and race

The Tiburon Police Department has also agreed to increase the frequency of training on racial bias.

Khalif and Awash were joined in their announcement by the City of Marin activist Paul Austin, who accused him and his wife of undercutting half a million dollars during an appraisal of their home because they were people. black skin. He said that incidents like what happened to him and to Khalif and Awash happen more often than people realize.

“Marin County, there’s a lot we can do to turn this place into a veritable smelter,” Austin said.

Khalif and Awash say that since interacting with police, they have received threatening text messages. One person questioned why they used a black mannequin. They recently installed security cameras outside their store.

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However, they are still satisfied with the outcome of their settlement and hope it will lead to real change.

“We are doing something important that will help Tiburon and that will hopefully set an example for the rest of the US,” Awash said.

Awash said it plans to donate part of its settlement money to a charity that helps educate orphans in Kenya and Ethiopia.

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https://abc7news.com/tiburon-store-settlement-yema-police-racial-profiling/11770289/ Bay Area store owners say they were racially profiled by police, reaching a $150,000 settlement with the town

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