'You Don't Look Like a Legislator': Ohio Lawmaker Stopped by Statehouse Security
State Rep. Emilia Sykes was walking to work in the Ohio Statehouse last year with a fellow lawmaker when she was stopped by security. Officers needed to search her bag, she was told.
Sykes is serving her third year as a Democratic state representative from Akron. She is also a 32-year-old black woman. Her colleague, who was not searched, is a 65-year-old white man who has served in the Legislature for many years.
Sykes said she questioned why her bag needed to be searched when that wasn't protocol. Lawmakers only need a badge to gain access to the Statehouse or the nearby Riffe Center, which houses many lawmakers' offices.
Her colleague told the trooper Sykes was a member of the Ohio House.
She was told: "You don't look like a legislator." The trooper then clarified: "You look too young."