Even though this type of indignity occurred before the Trump Effect moniker, the dehumanization of the other in this administration has made it more blatant and overt. The cop and his immediate supervisor should be fired.
Daily Kos’ Dartagnan described the event best. Be sure to visit his post after reading my take. He has an enlightened take expressed in a manner only he could.
Oyeneyin has lived at his house for five years. The burglar alarm had been mistakenly tripped by a friend of his who was staying at his house that day. The alarm was tied into Oyeneyin’s phone, and after being woken up from a sound sleep (he works nights), Oyeneyin promptly turned it off and went back to bed.
Twenty minutes later, a Raleigh police officer shows up, gun drawn, opens the front door and yells inside. An in-house security camera recorded the episode.
Oyeneyin (who has a valid concealed weapon permit) hears the shouting and walks downstairs. He sees the officer standing in his foyer, whom he immediately advises that he has a firearm, which he is carrying because he has no idea who just entered his house and woke him up.
The cop tells Oyeneyin to drop the firearm and Oyeneyin immediately complies. Without bothering to ask for identification, or even ask the most obvious question—whether Oyeneyin is the owner of the house—the officer appears to assume that Oyeneyin can’t possibly live here. He cuffs Oyeneyin and orders him to his knees. In the interim, the officer’s sergeant is summoned to the scene.
According to Oyeneyin’s statement afterward, the first officer asks him for ID at some point but the camera does not specifically show that. According to Oyeneyin, he attempted to advise the police that he was in fact the homeowner but they refused to believe him.
After several officers have arrived, Oyeneyin remains in the foyer, but he is then, over his own protests, hustled out of the house, onto his front lawn, where his neighbors have an opportunity to witness the entire spectacle, and then into a patrol car. Oyeneyin yells out to his neighbors to identify him for the police, but no one responds. Meanwhile, police search Oyeneyin’s house. Finally, another police officer arrives on the scene, who Oyeneyin happens to know, and at that time, Oyeneyin is confirmed as the homeowner.Man cuffed by police, forced out of his home in his underwear after ‘sleeping while black’ by Dartagnan
I can already hear those attempting to defend the police officers of this demeaning act that was clearly designed to humiliate this black man whether consciously or unconsciously. Does anyone believe a white man would not have been treated with more dignity even if the officer was not 100% sure they were speaking to the homeowner?
The black man, a licensed gun owner was told to put the gun down. He did. He was in his underwear, unlikely dress attire for someone breaking into a home. More importantly, his attire made it clear he had no hidden weapons.
But of course if one has the nationalized mindset that the other is less than human, always a suspect, and inherently dangerous, humiliation, disrespect, and demeaning is par for the course.
We need police officers. But when people of color are in their presence, it is always known that all may not end well, a crapshoot. And it is a lonely feeling knowing the majority of America rarely have our backs. After all, having video evidence of police officers murdering people of color on camera is not enough for grand juries to indict most of the times.
The Trump Effect on a black man in his own home
Is this the Trump Effect? Of course, it is. You see, the Trump effect is not about Trump. It is what gave us Trump.
Janice M Kelly says
This incident is so horribly true for too many black men. To not feel safe even in your own home must cause grave stress. I feel unless we organize in the streets on a consistent basis especially in these times this type of treatment will never stop. It should be a very sad day for America, the land of the Free. Only if you fit a certain mold, unfortunately.