In a story making national news, police near Grand Rapids handcuffed a Black Realtor, his Black client, and the client's 15-year-old son as they looked at a house for sale.
Police in Wyoming, Mich., responded to a neighbor's call last Sunday about people supposedly breaking into the house, reports WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, which obtained police dashcam and bodycam video. Video shows police pointing guns and later apologizing and removing the cuffs after confirming that one of the people is a Realtor who had legit access to the small brick house.
More than a week before, police said they arrested someone breaking into the home.
"Neighbors are calling in that you’re breaking into the place,” an officer is heard saying on the video.
“I’m the Realtor,” Eric Brown responds, and then shows ID.
The client, Roy Thorne, 45, tells The Washington Post that he felt rage seeing his son get handcuffed and having his son witness him being detained while neighbors watched. “I just felt defeated,” he told The Washington Post. “That’s something you never want your kid to see."
The Realtor and client say they were racially profiled, something police deny. The city's force issued a statement:
After a thorough internal review of the actions of each of our public safety officers who responded to this incident, we have concluded race played no role in our officers’ treatment of the individuals who were briefly detained, and our officers responded appropriately. 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.