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Black Estate Agent And His Clients Sue Police After They Were Handcuffed During House Viewing

Tom Wood

| Last updated 

Black Estate Agent And His Clients Sue Police After They Were Handcuffed During House Viewing

A black real estate agent is suing a city in Michigan after he and some people he was showing around a property were confronted by police officers and handcuffed because neighbours suspected they were criminals.

You can see a report on the case, including body-cam footage, below:


According to USA Today, Eric Brown and the two people who were also detained, Roy Thorne and his 15-year-old son Samuel, filed their federal lawsuit in early October after the incident on 1 August.

The incident in Wyoming - not to be confused with the US state - started after officers responded to a call from a neighbour who believed that someone who had previously been arrested for unlawfully entering the property had returned.

That first break-in took place in late July, and the suspect in that case drove a black car. In this second instance, two black cars were present at the scene.

Six officers showed up to the scene, and footage shows them calling out the people from within the house before cuffing them.

Credit: Wyoming Police Department
Credit: Wyoming Police Department

Then, once the situation starts to become clear, Brown was taken back to the house where he managed to convince them he was an estate agent and could prove as much if he was allowed to get the keys out of the lockbox with his phone.

He also presented his business card which proved he was who he said he was.

While Michigan police have said the whole thing was an 'unfortunate' misunderstanding, Brown and Thorne said they were left in 'sheer terror' after their ordeal, during which two of the officers had their guns drawn.

Brown has previously said: "I thought, 'We're going to get shot. This is going to go really bad, really fast."

Credit: Wyoming Police Department
Credit: Wyoming Police Department

Thorne, a US Army veteran, said he was also scared, particularly for his 15-year-old son.

He said: "I prepared myself to get shot or killed.

"I can't get it out of my head. I keep replaying that walk down the stairs."

The lawsuit claims the three would not have been arrested if they weren't black, which the police have disputed in a statement.

Michigan police said: "We have concluded race played no role in our officers' treatment of the individuals who were briefly detained.

"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."

Credit: Wyoming Police Department
Credit: Wyoming Police Department

The lawsuit filed by the men requests a trial by jury, alleging the plaintiffs' civil rights were violated, as well as alleging assault and battery, false imprisonment, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.

LADbible has contacted Wyoming Police Department for a comment.

Featured Image Credit: Wyoming Police Department

Topics: Police, US News

Tom Wood
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