A benevolent barber, who has been giving homeless men on the streets of Philadelphia free haircuts, was questioned by police threatening to shut down his charitable operation.
Brennon Jones, aka B Jawuan Jones, has made a name for himself in the City of Brotherly Love for his “Haircut4Homeless” initiative. Launched in 2017, Jones has reportedly cut hair for over one thousand people.
According to the NY Daily News, Sean Johnson, owner of Taper’s Barbershop, saw Jones’ work in 2017 and, inspired by his kindness, donated a second shop location to Jones.
But a new viral video shows Philadelphia police trying to pull the plug on Jones’ clippers yesterday.
An activist who goes by StanceGrounded on Twitter, posted the video of a confrontation between Jones and a police officer as he was giving a homeless man a trim.
“A police officer approached me and told me I had to shut down immediately after receiving a call from a sergeant,” Jones explains. “I asked for the sergeant’s name and badge number and a legitimate excuse why. He didn’t give me any information for why I had to shut down, he just told me I had to.”Philadelphia Police trying to shut down a black man giving free haircuts to the homeless.— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) April 14, 2019
THIS IS INFURIATING. THIS IS SO OUTRAGEOUS.
Jones explained to the police that he had been giving sidewalk haircuts for years and the community has come to appreciate him. But the cop kept arguing with Jones in the clip.
“This is infuriating. This is so outrageous,” StanceGrounded added in his post. “Criminalizing a man who treats the homeless as human, tries to alleviate their suffering is evil.”
Philadelphia Police took to social media to claim that Jones wasn’t asked to stop cutting hair but merely asked to clean up floating hair due to complaints from local business owners.
Despite the unwarranted police harassment, Jones plans to continue to serve the community one haircut at a time.
“I try not to let anything stop me from the mission and the mission is bigger than myself, and it’s all about those people who are forgotten, who are looked down on, who are talked about and mistreated,” Jones told Yahoo. “Lives are literally changed, there’s a rebranding of humanity and it’s all cause of this initiative. So I’m gonna keep going and I won’t let nothing get in the way of the goal and that’s to spread love.”