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The LA Fitness Employees Who Called The Police On 2 Black Men Working Out Are No Longer At The Company

Tshyrad Oates, who was using a guest pass at a New Jersey LA Fitness, said the gym employees accused him and his friend of not paying and then called the police.

Last updated on April 19, 2018, at 6:15 p.m. ET

Posted on April 18, 2018, at 11:33 a.m. ET

Tshyrad Oates, a member at an LA Fitness gym in New Jersey, accused the staff of racially profiling him in a Facebook post on Monday.

Facebook: tshyrad.oates

Oates wrote that he went to visit an unnamed friend at an LA Fitness in the town of Secaucus. He said his friend was a full-time member, while he was using a four-day guest pass.

Oates said in his post that he was approached a half hour later during his workout by a staff member who allegedly asked him to pay or leave. His friend then explained that he was a member, that his membership tag was in his locker, and that he had been signed in by the employee's manager.

According to Oates, he and his friend continued their workout but were then approached by police officers who questioned them about why they were in the gym without having paid.

Facebook: video.php

In one of the videos on Facebook, Oates’ friend is asked to rescan his pass and the two men go back to working out.

In another video, they are approached by a second LA Fitness staff member. Five police officers then enter the gym and also ask the men to leave. Oates and his friend are then told that their memberships are being revoked and that they have been banned from the gym.

A spokesperson for the Secaucus Police Department told BuzzFeed News that the department was contacted by the gym's management and that the officers were there to calm a situation that could have become "volatile."

"The officers acted appropriately for the situation," the spokesperson said.

Facebook: video.php

On Thursday, Jill Greuling, executive vice president of operations at LA Fitness, confirmed that the manager and two employees who were "most closely involved in the incident are no longer with the company."

In a statement, Grueling explained that "the front desk staff employee was confused and thought the member was a guest" and wasn't there when he had checked in.

"Regrettably, from there our staff unnecessarily escalated the situation and called the police rather than work through it. Clearly, this is a long time member, with a current, valid membership. We want to clarify that no membership was cancelled and no one, including the member’s guest, was banned from the club," she said. "We have spoken to the member to apologize and assure him that he and his guests are welcome in our clubs at all times."

The company is also "exploring potential training content and opportunities" to better train its staff on how to handle these situations, she added.

Since it was uploaded on Monday, the post and videos have been shared over 22,000 times. Many people have expressed their outrage in the post's comments.

Others have been posting negative reviews on the gym's Facebook page.


And leaving positive reviews on Secaucus Police Department's Facebook page.

On Tuesday, Oates posted a second Facebook update about the incident, thanking his followers for spreading the videos and saying he hadn't received any written statements from LA Fitness.

Facebook: tshyrad.oates

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.