N.C. police handcuff homeowner in his boxers after house alarm accidentally tripped
Published Sunday, August 25, 2019 6:56PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, August 25, 2019 9:08PM EDT
Security footage from a North Carolina home shows the shocking moment a police officer handcuffed and marched a black man out of his own house in his underwear, all over an accidentally tripped house alarm.
Kazeem Oyeneyin, a 31-year-old hip-hop concert and party promoter, said officers with Raleigh Police refused to believe that he lived at the residence.
"This was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life," he told television station WTVD.
The video, which captured the interaction from the foyer of Oyeneyin’s home, shows a police officer nudging open Oyeneyin’s unlocked door, his gun already drawn. He calls for anyone inside the house to identify themselves.
Police were responding to a burglar alarm going off and Oyeneyin’s alarm had gone off earlier -- when a friend who’d stayed the night had accidentally tripped it while leaving. Oyeneyin, who is known by the name “Tim Boss” while working as a promoter, said that he had disabled the alarm and gone back to sleep.
He was upstairs in bed when he heard the commotion at his front door.
“All I heard was somebody screaming downstairs,” he said. “So I grab my firearm cause I don't know what's going on and I run down the steps and it's a cop."
In the security footage, the officer demands Oyeneyin to come out of the house with his hands up. Oyeneyin, who has a concealed carry permit, informed the officer that he had a gun in his hand. The officer told him to drop it, which he did immediately.
But when the officer continued to order him out of the house, Oyeneyin had questions.
“What you mean, come on out?” he can be heard asking in the video. “I got on my drawers!”
The officer does not answer his questions, simply repeating his demand for Oyeneyin to leave the house. When he reaches the bottom of the stairs in the foyer, the officer’s instructions escalate.
“Turn around, put your hands behind your back," he says.
"Turn around for what?” Oyeneyin asks.
During this entire conversation, the officer’s gun has been pointed at Oyeneyin, who is standing in only his boxers. The officer finally offers an explanation when pinning Oyeneyin to the wall with his hands behind his back. He references the house alarm and the open door.
“I just talked to the alarm people!” Oyeneyin can be heard exclaiming.
Speaking about the incident afterward, he said he was "confused why (the officer was) still talking. He's asking me do I got ID. I told you, yeah. Let's identify me, let’s get me out of here. I was like, I need a supervisor. I definitely need a supervisor here cause this ain't right."
However, the situation was not cleared up by the arrival of other officers. Oyeneyin was escorted out of his house, handcuffed, while police searched his house. As they lead him out of his residence, Oyeneyin asks what he’s done wrong. Again, no answer is given.
Oyeneyin isn’t the only person who feels his treatment was unacceptable.
There are a “lot of stories like this that go untold,” according to Raleigh Community Advocate Kerwin Pittman.
“There's no reason this man should have been pulled out of his own home , not asked for proper identification,” said Pittman, adding that it should not have “progressed this far."
Oyeneyin doesn’t want to think that race played into the way the officers -- all seemingly white -- handled the situation, but he’s aware it’s a possibility.
"Being black could definitely be one of the issues that's the problem,” he told WTVD. “I hope it's not. But if that's what it is, it just needs to be resolved."
The police department says they are looking into the incident and reviewing the officers’ actions.
With files from WTVD
This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Kazeem Oyeneyin's name.