Black Realtor and Prospective Buyer Speak on Being Ordered at Gunpoint by Cops Out of Michigan Home for Sale
The prospective home buyer tells Inside Edition that his sole concern was to protect his teenage son. "My thought was, if they get me first, they might just stop shooting and they won't get him.”
A Black real estate agent, his client and his client’s 15-year-old son, who were ordered by police at gunpoint out of a home they were touring in Michigan over the weekend, are speaking out to Inside Edition about the incident.
“I was preparing myself for this to go really bad,” said Roy Thorne, the prospective home buyer. “I prepared myself to get shot in my mind.”
The day began like any typical Sunday, when Thorne and his son Samuel met their real estate agent, Eric Brown, around 2 p.m. that afternoon at the two-story house.
Brown, who has been working as a realtor in the Grand Rapids-area market for the last 20 years, had been helping the family search for a home for the last two months, and the group toured the home for about half an hour.
Samuel Thorne had wandered off on his own to scope out his future bedroom and returned to the group when he realized there were police officers outside, The Washington Post reported.
That’s when Roy Thorne, an Army veteran, realized there had been a swarm of around six police officers surrounding the home from an upstairs window, he told the Post.
“Roy looked outside and noticed there were officers there and were pointing guns toward the property,” Brown told WOOD.
Officers with the Wyoming Police Department then ordered the trio to exit the home in single file with their arms over their heads.
Thorne told Inside Edition that his sole concern was to protect his teenage son. "My thought was, if they get me first, they might just stop shooting and they won't get him,” the father said.
When they got outside the house, they were placed in handcuffs and put in separate vehicles.
“That was a little traumatizing,” Roy Thorne told WOOD. “Under the current climate of things, you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Brown said he finally had a chance to explain and show officers his credentials after being cuffed.
The Wyoming Police Department told WOOD they released them from their handcuffs immediately after, and apologized to the men and boy.
Cops said there had been a break-in at the same home the week prior that ended in a suspect being arrested and charged with unlawful entry, and that the neighbor had told police that it was the same suspect at the home that day, Captain Tim Pols told WOOD.
He added that placing the men in handcuffs was protocol.
Brown, Thorne and his teen son, however, believe they were victims of racial profiling.
"In my opinion, there's only one thing we could have done differently but it's physically impossible — and that's to take our skin off,” Brown told Inside Edition.
The police department says an internal review concluded that race played no role in the officers’ actions. The police chief is offering to meet with the realtor. Roy Thorne says he was so shaken by the incident, he's put his house buying plans on hold.
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