Police in Raleigh, North Carolina, are reportedly investigating an incident where a black man was handcuffed in his home and taken outside to a police car in his underwear after his burglar alarm went off.
Kazeem Oyeneyin was taking a nap on August 17 when an officer showed up at his front door after the alarm sounded. The officer found the door unlocked and announced himself, and Oyeneyin showed up at the top of his staircase with a gun, which he dropped as soon as the officer asked him to. As Oyeneyin descended the stairs, the officer had his gun drawn and started barking orders.
Oyeneyin was handcuffed and eventually escorted to a police vehicle outside his home before the cops realized that he was, in fact, the homeowner.
“Come on out, please!” the officer says in a video of the incident, caught on Oyeneyin’s home security system. “I’m in my drawers!” Oyeneyin responds.
“Put your hands behind your back and face away from me!” the officer yells. Oyeneyin complies. As the officer continues to yell commands, Oyeneyin says he’s just gotten off the phone with the alarm company and makes clear that he’s the homeowner.
“I’ve got on drawers! You’ve got to call your supervisor,” Oyeneyin says. “This shit is crazy!”
“I’m just trying to figure out who you are and whether you’re supposed to be here or not,” the officer explained.
Another officer arrived at the scene, and they proceeded to search the house.
The Raleigh police department told the local ABC affiliate news station that it’s conducting an investigation into the incident. But there's already backlash from activists, who are skeptical that the police department is conducting its investigation in good faith.
“We supposedly had an internal affairs office come out and talk to Kazeem, but when the guy showed up, he had scratched out the word ‘Captain’ and written in ‘Internal Affairs’ on his business card,” Kerwin Pittman, an activist and executive director of a nonprofit Recidivism Reduction Education Program Services, which offers rehabilitation services for offenders, told VICE News.
Pittman said that Oyeneyin was reluctant to speak publicly about the incident at all. “He wasn’t going to come forward because he feels like this is the way America is,” Pittman said. “And I told him, ‘No this is right, and we’re going to speak out about it.”
Activists are asking for the officers involved to be placed on administrative leave while the investigation is underway.
“Being black could definitely be one of the issues, the problem,” Oyeneyin told the local ABC affiliate news station. “I hope it's not. But if that's what it is, it needs to be resolved."
Earlier this month, police in Raleigh shot Soheil Mojarrad, a mentally-ill black man, eight times. There have been protests since, calling for police accountability and transparency in the investigation into the incident.
Covet: A State Capitol Police car drives near the North Carolina State Capitol on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh, N.C., on Monday, May 9, 2016. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)