NITV presenter Karla Grant has detailed a recent incident in which she believes she was racially targeted by Northern Territory police when buying alcohol in Alice Springs.
Speaking at the the Women In Media national conference on the Gold Coast yesterday, the Living Black host said explained the incident occurred after a long day of filming. When she and a non-Indigenous colleague went to get “a bottle of wine and a couple of beers” to have at a nearby restaurant, a female police office stopped her at the entrance.
“She focused in on me and said ‘have you got any ID? where are you staying?’ said Grant.
“I was so shocked and she didn’t ask for my producer’s ID, she just asked me, she really focused in on me.”
The female police officer also warned Grant multiple times about taking alcohol to a restricted area.
“I said ‘Yes, I’m well aware of this, but I’m not taking any alcohol anywhere, I’m just taking it around the corner to a restaurant where we’re having dinner’,” she said.
“Do I look like a grog runner? I don’t think so.”
“I just feel it was totally out of line. She didn’t even believe that I was staying at a hotel and wanted proof of where I was staying.”
She added, “My producer was fuming. He was like ‘Oh my God, this is so racist’.
“I happened to run into a friend who was coming into the alcohol store as well and I told him what happened and … he said ‘It happens to us all the time’.
“It’s totally racist. I think the town has got better in terms of racism but it’s still there. It’s underlying.”
In a statement, Northern Territory Police said it was “not aware” of any complaint in relation to the incident.