Ohio state Rep. Emilia Sykes (D) has been stopped by Ohio Statehouse security multiple times on her way into work and during one incident she was told she didn’t “look like a legislator,” the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Sykes, a 32-year-old female African-American lawmaker, was stopped on one occasion and told that officers needed to search her purse, but the colleague she was walking with — a 65-year-old white man — was not searched, according to the Enquirer. Sykes told the Enquirer that she asked why she was being searched when all she needed to get inside the Statehouse was her badge. Her colleague told the officers that she was, in fact, a state lawmaker.
“You don’t look like a legislator,” the officer reportedly said, then clarified: “You look too young.”
Sykes, who has been an Ohio legislator for three years, was also reportedly stopped when trying to get into a different building, the Riffe Center. Officers repeatedly requested to examine her badge.
“It’s just hard to find out what is the security rule,” Sykes said. “They seem to be a moving target for different people.”
I’ve had an interesting go with statehouse and Riffe security. I was able to get in but not after being told that my ID wasn’t visible enough and I needed to stop and prove myself, even though I did what I and others always do. Today wasn’t the worst day. 🙄
— Emilia Sykes (@EmiliaSykesOH) May 31, 2018
Read the Enquirer’s full report here.