A black real estate agent was showing a house to a black man and his 15-year-old son in suburban Michigan when they were surrounded by police with guns.
For father Roy Thorne in this situation, it is difficult to believe that these police officers’ actions were not racially motivated. “I know that once they surround the house, they are ready to face off,” father Roy Thorne told CNN Don lemon. “So my instinct tells me that we need to get out of here, we need to get to a place where they can see that we are not a threat.”
According to the Wyoming Department of Public Safety in Michigan, a neighbor apparently called the authorities, stating that a suspect who had been arrested at the property a week ago had returned to the scene. But the caller mistakenly recognized Eric Brown, a real estate agent, who was taking Thorne and his 15-year-old son Samuel to visit the community’s home as the suspect.
A video released by the Wyoming State Police showed that the police ordered the real estate agent and the father and son to raise their hands and leave the house, then handcuffed the three of them, and placed Thorne and his son in the back seats of different patrol cars.
All three were finally released without incident.
“I’m worried,” Thorne said, “but I’m more concerned about getting my son out of that situation and getting all of us out of there.”
When asked if he felt they were racially discriminated against, Brown said: “At that moment, I did feel that way.”
Brown said he found it difficult to justify the use of force, describing it as a “tactical” response.
The Wyoming Department of Public Safety issued a statement last week stating that it had conducted an internal review and concluded that “race has no effect on our officials’ attitudes towards individuals, and our officials have responded appropriately.”
The statement said: “Although unfortunately innocent people were handcuffed, our officials made a reasonable response based on the information they had at the time and in accordance with departmental policies.”
This incident still left a negative impact on the 15-year-old Samuel. He told Tang Lemon that he was “confused, shocked and scared…because I don’t know why they were all there at the time.”
“It went from,’Dad, there are police officers out there,’ to’hands up,'” Samuel said. “It’s kind of like, from zero to 100.”
As mentioned in the Wyoming State Police statement, two police officers pulled out their holsters during the incident-one walked around the house and the other provided cover near the front line.
The Wyoming State Police said in a statement: “When responding to the reported multi-person intrusion, this is a standard protocol.”
Wyoming State Police said that Chief of Police Kimberly Coster had met with the three of them to discuss the matter.
Brown had to explain to the police that he was a real estate agent as a life-saving measure. He told CNN that the time had not yet been determined, but they wanted to have a conversation with the chief and their own lawyers, adding that he felt this was a “criticism”. “Samuel was there too.
“Obviously,” Brown said, “we hope to make some reforms and changes here.”
Thorne also sent a message to the neighbor who called the police.
“We are the same as you. We occupy the same space. We do the same thing. We go to the same place,” Soarns said. “If you see a crime, please report it. But if you see people — blacks, any minorities — don’t report people doing normal things,” Thorne said. “You did this, you didn’t realize that you could change their lives or deprive them of their lives, it was just you making a call. In this case, it could be three. You could have changed my life, changed me The life of the son.”
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