A man allegedly caught on CCTV robbing a bank, who attempted to disguise his identity using 'blackface', was arrested on Wednesday.
Jerrad Schmittle, 40, went into Wells Fargo Bank in Corona, California wearing a beanie and with black makeup on his face.
He handed a note to a teller demanding money and verbally stated he was armed with a gun.
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However, after waiting several seconds, the suspect then fled the scene without getting any money. Police then responded to a silent alarm triggered by staff.
Although detectives from the Lake Elsinore station, along with the Riverside Sheriff's Department Forensics Unit, processed the scene and collected evidence, the suspects identity had remained unknown in the immediate aftermath of the crime.
He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery after leads developed from the physical evidence collected from the scene, with an arrest warrant obtained 8th November.
Credit: Police handout
Authorities ask anyone with information on the case to call the Lake Elsinore sheriff's station at 951-245-3300.
Use of 'blackface' is considered as racist due to its history and roots in the oppression and mockery of black people by white people. It was used by minstrels to mock black people in the 19th century and it is being used to mock the contemporary civil rights movement in 2016.
Explaining previously why blackface makeup is racist, Huffington Post reporter Julia Craven wrote: "The history of blackface is complex, but it's inescapably rooted in the notion that black folks are inherently less than white people, and that they shouldn't be allowed to portray themselves onstage. While you may think it's harmless to paint yourself black for Halloween, it's not. This is the tradition you're joining, whether or not you know it.
"Once you're done masquerading as a black person - employing the same techniques used not just to belittle the black experience, but to prop up the systemic subjugation of the entire race - you get to remove the colour from your skin. Black people do not have this luxury. We cannot wash our blackness from ourselves, nor can we eliminate all the stereotypes and all the forms of oppression that come with it."
Featured Image Credit: Police Handout