Spokesperson Mike Gast from Kampgrounds of America (KOA) told The Washington Post that the woman, who identified herself as the property manager, has been fired since the incident.
What We Know:
- Jessica and Franklin Richardson decided to take their dog to Starkville, Mississippi’s Oktibbeha County Lake to have a picnic. Things quickly took a turn for the worst when campground manager approached them while holding a gun yelling ‘get, get’ and told them they were trespassing and needed to have a reservation.
- On their way out, the couple came across another campground employee who told them that they didn’t need a reservation for the lake. The employee turned out to be the woman’s husband.
- It wasn’t long before the video went viral after Jessica posted it on Facebook describing the confrontation. This incident adds to the long list of similar incidents where black people are being treated with suspicion for engaging in everyday activities.
- The lake itself is public so it’s unclear whether if the area the couple planned to have their picnic, would be considered private property according to Board of Supervisors President Orlando Trainer. KOA in Starkville is located on land that belongs to the local school district.
Parks and outdoor recreation areas have a history of racial discrimination. In the 20th century, African Americans were discouraged from visiting and campgrounds were segregated. The National Park Service reported only seven percent of visitors in 2016 were African American. While white people made up nearly 80 percent.