Michigan Police Handcuffs Black Real Estate Agent Potential Home Buyer Shows



Black real estate agent and potential home buyer in Michigan said they were racially profiled when local police suspected them of intruding and handcuffed them during a display of the house.

Real estate agent Eric Brown told local branch of NBC WOOD-TV that last Sunday he was giving a house tour in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming for Roy Thorne and his 15-year-old son, Sammy.

Brown, agent c Grand Rapids Real Estate reported that on Sunday afternoon he arrived at a two-story house in a predominantly white neighborhood and, like all the houses he shows, opened the safe via an app on his phone, which contained a key that he could use. …

After Thorne and his son arrived, Brown began a home screening, telling WOOD-TV that during the tour, Thorne eventually “looked outside and noticed there were officers pointing pistols in the direction of the property.”

Thorne, an army veteran who is also Black, explained that he told his son to “get out of the line of fire,” and opened a window to speak to the police.

Thorne said the police eventually ordered the three men to leave the house in a line with their hands over their heads.

Going out into the street, the men said that the police officers had handcuffed all three.

“They keep their weapons ready until we are all handcuffed,” Thorne told a local news agency. “So I think it was a little traumatic because in the current environment, you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Brown, who said he counted seven white police officers at the scene, noted that he was eventually able to explain the situation and show the staff his real estate powers, after which the handcuffs were removed.

The Wyoming State Police Department told a local news agency that officers answered a 911 call from a neighbor reporting a burglary, and Captain Timothy Pauls said a previous robbery had taken place at the same address on July 24.

“The officers knew that a previous burglary took place at the same address on July 24, and that the suspect was arrested and charged with illegal entry during this incident,” he said.

Later, the department said that the caller reported that the previously arrested suspect had returned and entered the house again.

“When the officers arrived, there were people in the residence in question,” the statement said, adding that the people were handcuffed in accordance with “department protocol”.

“After hearing people explain why they were in the house, the police officers immediately removed the handcuffs,” the department said, adding that “they take such emergency calls seriously and officers rely on their training and department policy in their responses. … “

The Hill contacted the police department for more information.


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