One Black real estate agent recently got an unexpected visit from police, and as a result, he ended up in handcuffs.
According to a Sunday (Aug. 8) report from CNN, police in Wyoming, Michigan put realtor Eric Brown, his friend Roy Thorne and Thorne’s 15-year-old son, Samuel, in handcuffs when Brown was taking Thorne on a house tour on Aug. 1. At some point during the tour, Samuel noticed two police officers with their weapons drawn outside of the home.
Brown mentioned that he experienced “sheer terror” in the moment. Samuel noted how quickly the situation escalated. “It went from, ‘Dad, there’s cops outside’ to ‘Come outside with your hands up,’” Samuel told CNN. “That was kind of like, just from zero to 100.”
Police say that officers were responding to a call from a neighbor who said a person who was previously arrested for “unlawful entry” into the property had returned to the spot, which was the house Brown was giving a tour of. The caller said that the person had the same Black Mercedes they were caught in before. Police found a Hyundai Genesis and a Chevrolet Malibu when they arrived. Both vehicles were black.
The entire interaction between Brown, Thorne and Samuel can be seen unfolding in body cam footage. Brown showed the officers his real estate license, and 10 minutes after he, Thorne and Samuel were handcuffed, police apologized and removed the cuffs.
“We have concluded race played no role in our officers’ treatment of the individuals who were briefly detained,” the statement said. “While it is unfortunate that innocent individuals were placed in handcuffs, our officers responded reasonably and according to department policy based on the information available to them at the time.”
Although police in Michigan said they didn’t believe race played a role, Brown believes this was an instance of racial profiling, and he says he is talking to lawyers to consider options for taking legal action. You can see footage for yourself below.