A video currently gaining steam on social media shows a student being racially profiled by campus police. According to activist and lawyer C.J. Lawrence, the incident happened at Oakland University in the Auburn Hills section of Michigan.
Lawrence shared a tweet of the confrontation on Oct. 3. In the video, a young Black man is backed into a wall as two white officers forcefully question him. While trying to diffuse the situation, a friend recorded the incident with his cell phone. One officer repeatedly grabbed the young man’s arm as the student asked why he was stopped. At times, the second officer seemingly told the aggressive cop to calm down.
The young man was accused of having a fake ID. His friend pleaded with the officer to unhand the student so he could get his ID from his book bag. Although the student complied when the cops asked for his identification, the cop who grabbed him never stopped to look at the card. Instead, the campus official pointed to other items in the young man’s wallet.
“That’s his only ID,” the friend said. The cop ignored him and instructed the student to “open up [his] wallet.” Frustrated, the student emptied the contents of his wallet, showing the only other items he had were debit cards and similar paraphernalia. When the young man asked the cop again to simply check his ID, the officer responded, “It doesn’t matter.”
The other police officer asked the students to relax as they picked up the contents of his wallet and bag. In the footage, which lasts just over two minutes, the student’s friend asked the officers why they felt the need to be so aggressive with the young man. Eventually, the cop gave the student his ID back and the other told the young men they were free to go.
In response to the footage, one person tweeted, “The school needs to address this [for sure].” Another person wrote, “Kinda crazy @oaklandu hasn’t made some sort of response. I wouldn’t want to work on that social media team right now. Don’t put that on your resume.” At this time there has been no statement from the university.
See additional tweets below.