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

Two months ago a Black real estate agent and his clients were forced to leave a home showing in handcuffs. Now the trio, is taking action filing a lawsuit against Wyoming police department and the city, according to CNN.

Eric D. Brown, a Michigan realtor, was showing a home to his client, Roy Thorne, and his client’s 15-year-old son Samuel. During the showing, the men noticed that police cars were surrounding the home. Brown, his client, and the teenager left the home. Once they got outside, they weren’t given the chance to explain themselves, but they were met with several guns pointed in their direction. The men were quickly placed in handcuffs and stripped of their rights. They were put into the police vehicle and silenced. Once Brown had a chance to prove his real estate credentials that the men were set free.

The incident took place on August 1 outside a home in Wyoming, Michigan.

The Michigan police department supported the officers who detained Brown, Thorne, and the teen. According to the department, the police officers were responding to a call from a neighbor. A few weeks before the incident, a man had broken into the home and the 911 caller believed that the same man had returned. Therefore, based on the information that the police had, they believed they responded appropriately. Brown and Thorne believed they were victims of racial profiling.

“I feel pretty anxious, or nervous or maybe even a little bit scared about what do I do to protect myself if I’m going to show a home and the authorities just get called on a whim like that,” Brown said. “Am I just automatically the criminal? Because that’s pretty much how we were treated in that situation.”

The Michigan police department released a statement about 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,” the statement read. “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.”

Brown and Thorne were not satisfied with the response and treatment they received. Then on October 1, they filed a lawsuit in US District Court for the Western District of Michigan, according to CNN. They hired lawyer Ven Johnson to help them obtain the justice they deserve.

“It absolutely was implicit, racist bias, absolutely,” Johnson said, according to WWMT. “And the city of Wyoming needs to step up, admit it and they need to be evaluated to see what training that they’re giving their officers.”

The lawsuit  states that the officers violated the plaintiffs’ civil rights. Brown and Thorne are also suing for unlawful detainment and excessive force and violations of equal protection. The lawsuit seeks  are also seeking to recover damages from false imprisonment, assault and battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

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