Video Shows Moment Black Realtor, Clients Handcuffed by Armed Cops While Looking at Home

Police in Wyoming, Michigan, released body camera footage capturing the moment a Black real estate agent was handcuffed while showing a home to a client this month.

The 47-minute video, reported by WOOD-TV, a local television news station, begins by showing Wyoming police outside the home, calling for the realtor, Eric Brown, and his clients, Roy Thorne and his 15-year-old son, to exit building on August 1.

Thorne exits the building first and is handcuffed by police, whom he tells that he is looking at house with a realtor. His son was also later detained.

"My friend's a realtor. We're just here just to see the house," Thorne said. "Definitely not buying this one."

The video then shows Brown being handcuffed outside the house. An officer explains to Brown that he was handcuffed because neighbors had called to report a break-in at the home.

"I'm the realtor," Brown replies.

An officer tells Brown that the home had been broken into a few days earlier, so neighbors were watching the home in case someone came back. A man had been arrested for breaking into the house July 24, WOOD reported.

Brown allows the officer to look at his realtor license in his wallet.

"By law, we have to carry that," he told the officer.

He also shows the officer how he was able to get into the home, using an electronic key that was still in the door.

The officer then uncuffs Brown after about two minutes, apologizing "for the inconvenience."

Brown told the officers he understood the neighbor's concern. The officers said his car looks similar to the black Mercedes-Benz that was spotted when the home was broken into days earlier. All three men were eventually uncuffed, and the police officers apologized for the misunderstanding.

"Hope you have a better day, sorry about the confusion," one officer said.

The Wyoming Police Department said in a statement to WOOD that "race played no role" in the incident.

"After a thorough internal review of the actions of each of our public safety officers who responded to this incident, we have concluded race played no role in our officers' treatment of the individuals who were briefly detained, and our officers responded appropriately," the department told WOOD.

"While it is unfortunate that innocent individuals were placed in handcuffs, our officers responded reasonably and according to department policy based on the information available to them at the time."

Brown, however, has said he believes the officers' response would have been different if they were white, Newsweek reported.

"The level of the response and the aggressiveness of the response was definitely a take back, it really threw me back," he said.

He added, "I feel pretty anxious, or nervous or maybe even a little bit scared about what do I do to protect myself if I'm going to show a home and the authorities just get called on a whim like that. Am I just automatically the criminal? Because that's pretty much how we were treated in that situation."

Wyoming is a town of just under 76,000 people outside of Grand Rapids, according to data from the U.S. Census.

Newsweek reached out to the Wyoming Police Department for additional comment.

Body Camera
Police in Wyoming, Michigan, released body camera footage showing them handcuff a realtor who was showing a home. Above, a body camera is seen during a press conference at City Hall in Washington, D.C., on September 24, 2014. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)