'It Was Horrible' – Black Student at Protest-Hit University Says He Was Racially Profiled

The University of Manchester has suspended the security guards who pushed Zac Adan against a wall and demanded to see ID. It's the latest incident to make headlines at the uni.
November 16, 2020, 5:17pm
Zac Adan University of Manchester
Photo: Supplied / screenshot

An Instagram video showing a Black student being restrained by security guards who demanded to see his student ID has sparked more unrest at the University of Manchester.

The video was filmed in the early hours of Saturday morning, when security on Fallowfield campus restrained, Zac Adan, 19, as he returned to his halls.

Security guards can be heard repeatedly asking Adan to give them his identity card, while he insists he is a student at the university.

Adan told VICE World News he was racially profiled by the security staff. “It was horrible. It was really really horrible. I literally just left my friends as it was happening, and I was on my own when the incident happened. I was really lucky someone recorded it.”

“They said they didn't recognise me, that there'd been a lot of drug dealing on campus. I said, that's got nothing to do with me, and it was very very obvious,” he said. “They were so adamant that I didn't go to this uni. It must have been based on what I look like, also known as my skin colour, my tracksuit, my hoodie.”

He added, “It's clear, clear racism.”

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Adan at a law competiton in Edinburgh. Photo: Zac Adan.

The incident comes at a time of growing tensions between students and the university. In the past month students have torn down COVID-security fences that were erected without warning, and occupied a tower block as part of a rent strike.

Further protests are now planned as a result of the incident involving Adan, VICE World News has been told.

The University of Manchester said it had suspended the security guards in the video pending the results of an investigation, and had spoken to Adan.

“We are deeply concerned by these images,” the university said in a statement.

But Adan said the university had not been in contact with him. “I am so, so pissed off,” he said.

“I know I'm going to be taking it further, so what they do is up to them. At the end of the day, this militant regime they've got on campus has to stop. If they don't stop it, we'll stop it.”