…from The Washington Post…..
But more than anything: powerlessness. Thorne could do nothing other than obey in a desperate attempt not to die.
“I just felt defeated,” he told The Washington Post. “That’s something you never want your kid to see.”
Thorne and his son were touring a home Sunday with real estate agent Eric Brown, who’s also Black, in Wyoming, Mich., when police suddenly surrounded the house with guns drawn. The officers were responding to a neighbor’s 911 call about a break in. They ordered the three out of the house, handcuffed them and put them in separate vehicles.
Except it wasn’t a break in. Brown, 46, who has been working in the Grand Rapids area market for 20 years, had arrived at the house on Sharon Avenue SW around 2 p.m. Thorne brought his 15-year-old son, Samuel.
Thorne and Brown said they were racially profiled. If they were White, they said, neighbors wouldn’t have called the police. And if they did, some half-dozen officers would not have surrounded the place with guns drawn, the men added.
“A SWAT team is what it felt like,” Brown told The Post.
A captain with the Wyoming Police Department didn’t respond to a request for comment from The Post late Thursday but told a local TV station earlier this week the officers’ response had nothing to do with race….
Brown explained he was a real estate agent on a scheduled tour. Still handcuffed, he showed them his credentials and said he had a confirmed appointment to show the home. He explained how he had used an app on his phone to access a lockbox with the house key.
That’s when officers realized the mistake and freed Thorne, Brown and his son. Thorne estimated they were in handcuffs for about 20 minutes.
Several officers apologized, and Thorne said he thinks one was genuinely sorry. He said he saw that officer talking with the White couple who called 911. The officer returned to say he had chewed them out, apologized again and left, Thorne said….
“I don’t get how we were treated as a threat when we’re clearly not one. If we were White, that wouldn’t happen,” Thorne said, noting there had been as many as 40 showings without incident in the three weeks that house had been on the market….
Failure to be white is still a problem to many black males….