A realtor, his client, and his client’s son were put in handcuffs while showing a home last week in Wyoming, Michigan.
Police have since called the interaction one where “officers responded appropriately.”
Realtor Eric Brown and his client Roy Thorne said they and Throne’s son Sammy were racially profiled when the pair—and Roy’s son—were cuffed on Aug. 1 during a home viewing, according to WOOD TV. Two weeks before, a man was arrested breaking into the Sharon Avenue SW home, and a neighbor called the police when they saw Brown and Thorne enter the home after the homeowner asked them to watch the property.
“Last week Saturday the police came out … there was a young Black man that was squatting in a home that’s for sale, and I know they came and took him away and towed his car away. Well, he’s back there again,” the caller told dispatch, according to audio from WOOD TV. “The car’s sitting out front.”
When police arrived, they called everyone out of the home. Thorne was quickly handcuffed and WDPS shows an officer point a gun at him, as he explained that he was the agent’s client. Brown then showed the officers his license and was uncuffed two minutes after being detained. Both men and Thorne’s son were eventually uncuffed and officers apologized to them.
“Community members and the media have asked for a response regarding whether or not the race of the Realtor and his clients played a role in the police response to this incident,” a Wyoming Department of Public Safety statement read after the incident. “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.”
“When you have several guns pointed at you and they tell you to turn around, it does something to you,” Brown said.
The men are now in talks with a lawyer, and claim they want emotional support following the incident “to heal as fast as we can,” according to NBC News.
“They didn’t come there to talk. The way that they moved around the house, Roy with his military training recognized that posturing. It flipped from we’re showing a house to we need to make it out of here alive,” he said. “I trusted that we were in danger, very serious danger.”