A Black real estate agent in Michigan is accusing local police of racial profiling after he, a client and the client’s son were handcuffed during the showing of a home.
Eric Brown was inside the house in Wyoming, Michigan, with client Roy Thorne and Thorne’s 15-year-old son on Sunday when police were seen gathering outside the house. Thorne tried to introduce himself from the window, according to Newsweek.
The police then reportedly ordered all three to exit with their hands up, then placed them in handcuffs. Thorne said the officers kept their guns drawn until the cuffs were in place.
After Brown explained that he was a real estate agent and produced his credentials, the police removed the handcuffs, saying that a neighbor had reported a break-in.
A burglary at the same address a week earlier resulted in an arrest and charge of unlawful entry. The neighbor who called 911 reportedly said the same suspect had returned.
In speaking to the local news, Brown pointed towards race as a factor in the police officers’ response, an accusation the Wyoming Police Department denied, saying the handcuffing was department protocol.
“The level of the response and the aggressiveness of the response was definitely a take back, it really threw me back,” Brown told TV station WOOD. “Am I just automatically the criminal? Because that’s pretty much how we were treated in that situation.”
[Newsweek] — Holden Walter-Warner