Black real estate agent and his Black clients file lawsuit after being handcuffed by police during home showing

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Real estate agent, Eric Brown, was showing a house to his client, Roy Thorne, and his 15-year-old son, Samuel, on August 1, when police, answering a neighbor’s call, showed up at the house, ordering that inside. They left, raising their hands in the air and handcuffed them.

All were released soon thereafter.

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The lawsuit, filed on October 1 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, seeks unspecified damages in five counts claiming that six police officers violated plaintiffs’ civil rights, including unlawful detention and excessive force, along with The same involves a breach of equal protection. Other cases include assault and battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The city of Wyoming, the six officers involved and the police chief have all been named as defendants.


A spokesman for the city declined to comment on the lawsuit Friday, telling Granthshala, “The City of Wyoming does not comment on pending litigation.”

Granthshala has been unable to determine whether the police chief or six other officers have legal representation to comment on their behalf. Granthshala has also contacted the Fraternal Order of Police at South Kent Lodge but has not heard back.

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The lawsuit stems from an incident on August 1, when a neighbor informed authorities that a suspect had been illegally arrested at the property a week earlier. Entry He had returned to the scene in the same car, according to a timeline previously released by the Wyoming Department of Public Safety.

In audio of the call released by Wyoming police in August, the caller is heard saying that a “young black man” had been arrested at home a week earlier. Police said it was a different caller from the initial incident, but that “the caller was aware of the previous arrest and had seen the arrested person and his vehicle,” and the homeowner took him to see the house. Said.

A Wyoming officer contacted the caller to clarify that it was the same suspect and the vehicle in the previous incident. Police said the caller confirmed this.

However, the caller made a mistake. According to body camera footage released by police, Brown was giving Thorne and his son a home tour after scheduling a visit online the day before, Brown would explain to officers.

Footage captured by police dashboard and body cameras showed officers walking out of the house and giving orders to the trio with their hands in the air. Following the orders of the officers, they left the house one by one. They were each handcuffed, and Thorne and his teenage son were briefly placed in the back seats of separate patrol vehicles.

All three were released without incident after Brown revealed that he was a real estate agent. In the footage officers are heard explaining that the house had been ransacked a week earlier, admitting that it appeared to be a “misunderstanding”. The officers removed the handcuffs from Thorne and his son and were heard apologizing.

The way the lawsuit treats the plaintiffs is the fact that they are black, saying, “If the plaintiffs had not been African American men, they would not have been held at gunpoint, would not have been detained, and handcuffed.” Not put.”

Two officers open their firearms during the incident, Wyoming police previously said, noting that it is standard protocol when officers “report a home invasion in progress with multiple individuals inside a home.”

Additionally, the lawsuit claims that officers had evidence that neither Brown, Thorne or their son was the man who had been arrested weeks earlier because their cars and their license plates did not match those of the previous suspect.

In August, the Wyoming Department of Public Safety said it conducted an internal review and concluded that “race played no role in our officers’ treatment of individuals, and our officers responded appropriately.”


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