Black Realtor Handcuffed During Home Showing After Neighbor Called Cops

Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

A Michigan realtor took a client to view a home on Sunday (August 2) and they were soon handcuffed by police after someone reported a break in. 

Officers eventually released realtor Eric Brown and his client Roy Thorne, but the men say they were racially profiled. 

Brown told WOOD-TV he was showing Thorne and Thorne’s 15-year-old son a home in the city of Wyoming, Michigan when they noticed a growing police presence outside. 

“Roy looked outside and noticed there were officers there and they were pointing guns toward the property,” Brown recalled. 

Officers ordered the trio to exit the home in a single file with their hands raised in the air. Once outside, all three were placed in handcuffs

“They keep their guns drawn on us until all of us were in cuffs,” Thorne said. “So, that was a little traumatizing; I guess because, under the current climate of things, you just don’t know what’s going to happen.” 

Brown was able to show the officers his real estate license and officers took them out of cuffs. 

“That officer came back and apologized again, but at the same time, the damage is done,” Thorne said. 

“My son was a little disturbed. He hasn’t seen anything like that … he’s not going to forget this,” Thorne added. 

The Wyoming Police Department said a break-in took place at the same address last month and a suspect was arrested and charged with unlawful entry. Capt. Timothy Pols said in a statement to the news outlet that the neighbor who made the call said the “previously arrested suspect had returned and again entered the house.”

Pols also said that placing the men and teen in cuffs was department protocol, though Brown said the officers’ response was shocking.“The level of the response and the aggressiveness of the response was definitely a take-back. It really threw me back,” Brown said. 

“I felt 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."

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