Brickbat: Three Bedrooms, Five Police Officers


Real estate agent Eric Brown, his client, and the client's son, all of whom are black, found themselves handcuffed at gunpoint by five police officers while viewing a home in Wyoming, Michigan. A neighbor had called reporting that the three were breaking into the home. The three were released after Brown was able to convince police he was a real estate agent authorized to show the home. The police department said officers followed proper procedure. Brown isn't convinced. "If we walked out of there, and I'd been a white lady and her white client and daughter, they would've dropped those guns in a heartbeat," Brown said.

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  2. Seems the neighbor in this case is worse than any of the cop. She seriously can’t tell a realtor, regardless of race, from someone breaking in? Some historian should research how often busybody, pain in the ass neighbors with way too much time on their hands have been the catalysts for getting folks thrown into Stalin’s gulags, Hitler’s camps, and Mao’s detention centers.

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    2. The smiling Hausfrau put Hitler into office. True fact. That was the biggest bloc supporting him.

      “I don’t care what you do to the Jews, just fix the Deutschmark and drain the swamp”.

    3. Reason neglects to mention that the house had been burglarized the week before by someone in a car of the same color.

  3. At least the prospective buyers now know what kind of neighbors they would have here. And, if they didn’t already know, the quality of law enforcement.

  4. “If we walked out of there, and I’d been a white lady and her white client and daughter, they would’ve dropped those guns in a heartbeat,” Brown said.

    That is an assertion made by an understandably upset person, but does not have evidence to back it up. It is not a dispassionate appraisal of what happened that proves the charge.

  5. The house had been burglarized the same week, so of course the neighbor and cops were careful.

    This isn’t a fucking brickbat. It’s a race hate hoax looking for a payoff.

    1. I have to agree that it looks bad, but we don’t have enough details to pass judgement. Were they actually handcuffed? For how long? These are notably missing from both articles in exchange for fluff racial statistics that tell us nothing about this situation.

      The neighbor said that the car looked like the one from the previous burglary. That alone would make the response more understandable, especially if the burglars were still at large. If it was resolved within 5 minutes, then it’s also more understandable.

      I’ve seen “Karens” on both sides of these reporting stories. Both crazy people reporting someone walking down the street and people acting suspicious and going insane when someone questions them, no matter how innocuously. Pardon me for not passing judgement too quickly.

      1. Were they actually handcuffed? – The article explicitly says so. Do you have any evidence that the article is wrong?

        For how long? – Utterly irrelevant. An unjust arrest is unjust whether it lasts for ten minutes, ten hours or ten seconds.

        Generally, people behaving like realtors and prospective home-buyers behave very differently from burglars. The difference in behavior should have been obvious to the first officer on the scene within the first seconds of arrival. Was there scarring on the door that would indicate a means of entry other than use of the key? Were drawers opened or belongings scattered? Did the potential burglars have a bag into which they were putting stolen goods? Were they acting furtively? Did they have a reasonable answer to “Hi, who are you?”

        There’s a big step between “let’s not rush to judgment” and “let’s be a pollyanna”.

        1. Detainment is not arrest.

          To investigate, it is necessary to safely detain potential suspects, which means handcuffs and a pat-down, sitting on the floor, and being watched.

          You can’t ask cops to figure out a situation with potential suspects walking around, possibly armed.

          The cops did it right.

  6. As long as the union dues got paid and the article got ad clicks, it’s all good.

  7. “A neighbor had called…”

    It almost always starts there. Which is why I live in the woods; much better to put up with bears and the occasional big cat passing through than mother fucking busybodies who believe “see something say something” is a criterion of good citizenship.

    1. You could live in Palo Alto and have fucking busybodies AND cougars passing through your yard. (Big cats, that is, not horny busybodies).

  8. Guess the ‘concerned neighbor’ doesn’t have to worry about ‘their kind’ moving in next door eh?

    Really this sounds like a key and peele sketch where there are big signs out front and the realtor is wearing a jacket with a realtor logo on it. At the end the neighbor talks to the cops dressed head to toe in a white robe.

  9. I read about this one on the Daily Mail.

    The cops responded to a call. That’s their job. The only thing they did wrong in my opinion was point their guns at the folks they were investigating. There’s no need for that.

    Heck, the cops even apologized after they figured out what was going on. That’s against the rules.

    So I don’t see a brickbat here. Just cops doing their job.

  10. Wyoming Michigan is a suburb of Grand Rapids, not to be confused with Wyandotte, a suburb of Detroit.

    Grand Rapids is where the largest concentration of Republicans are in the state of Michigan, which probably is why the New York Times thought this was a newsworthy story.

  11. The CNN story has lots of details.

    They were “briefly” handcuffed.
    Only one officer had his gun unholstered in the front of the house
    The house was broken to about a week earlier. The caller believed it was the same person previously arrested because of the type of car
    The entire thing is recorded on body cams
    The police explained to the realtor that the home had been broken into recently So he should’ve understood it wasn’t just people who distrust black people. The police apologized after they saw his realtor credentials

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