Black man forced to kneel in boxers at gunpoint outside his home after police refuse to believe he is not a burglar

The man was forced to sit in a police car outside his home until an officer happened to recognise him

Lily Puckett
New York
Monday 26 August 2019 18:53
Comments
Black man arrested after false burglar alarm triggered

An African American man was forced by police to kneel in his boxer shorts outside his own home after officers refused to believe he was not a burglar.

Kazeem Oyeneyin, a 31-year-old resident of Raleigh, North Carolina, was held at gunpoint on August 17 by a white police officer after a false burglar alarm in his home went off for 15 minutes while he was sleeping.

Mr Oyeneyin picked up his own gun when he heard his front door open, but dropped it when the police officer at his door told him to.

The officer then forced Mr Oyeneyin to kneel outside in handcuffs while he searched the house. In footage captured by a security camera, the officer appears to ignore Mr Oyeneyin’s explanations that the house is his, and pleas for better treatment.

Mr Oyeneyin called the episode the “most humiliating experience of my life,” and said that neighbours have been weary of him ever since. He says he feared for his life while the officer pointed a gun at him.

"I was counting the seconds because I thought he was going to kill me," Mr Oyeneyin told ABC News. "He was shaking the gun. All he has to do is slip and hit that trigger and I'm dead."

At least four officers are shown entering Mr Oyeneyin’s house on the security footage. He said they put him in the back of a police car while the officers searched his home.

"While the cop was trying to put me in the car, I'm screaming, like 'Yo!' because I want my neighbours to come out and tell them that I live there," Mr Oyeneyin said. "So, the neighbours are just looking through the windows and I'm just humiliated. Nobody wants to say nothing. Everybody's just looking."

He was held there until a sergeant he knew arrived and recognised him. That sergeant told his colleagues to leave the house, and had Mr Oyeneyin’s handcuffs removed. He was then walked back into his home.

"This was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life," he told ABC. "I mean, I felt like my character was defamed. I went outside the other day, the neighbours wouldn't even wave at me. They don't know what's going on. They think I'm a whole criminal over here."

Officials from the Raleigh police department said in a statement that they are “looking into this incident and reviewing our officers' actions."

They also said they have “attempted to contact the homeowner several times over the past few days to discuss this incident with him,” Mr Oyeneyin says he declined their invitation to go to the police station and make a formal complaint.

"They've got me scared. I ain't going to lie to you," he told ABC. "I don't know how to trust them.”

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