Earlier this month, a Black Michigan REALTOR® named Eric Brown was the purported victim of racial profiling during what should have been a routine showing. Police drew guns on the real estate agent, his client Roy Thorne and the client’s 15-year-old son after a neighbor called 911 to report a break-in.
According to several sources, all three were eventually released after Wyoming, Michigan police ordered them out of the home with their hands up and handcuffed each of them. According to Thorne, police kept their guns drawn until cuffs were secure, and Brown had to show police his real estate credentials before being released.
“The level of the response and the aggressiveness of the response was definitely a take back, it really threw me back,” Brown told TV station WOOD. “Am I just automatically the criminal? Because that’s pretty much how we were treated in that situation.”
National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) President Charlie Oppler issued a statement following the incident: “The detainment of Eric Brown, a REALTOR® from Michigan, and his clients during a recent home showing was deeply disturbing. Brown, his client and his client’s 15-year-old son—all of whom are Black—had guns drawn upon them by local police and were placed in handcuffs after neighbors reported a break in at the property,” said Oppler. “While, thankfully, neither Brown nor his clients were physically harmed in the incident, racial profiling—and the humiliation, indignity and trauma that comes with it—has no place in our country. NAR’s top priority is the safety and well-being of all of our members as we work tirelessly each and every day to make the American Dream of owning a home a reality for all.”
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s senior online editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to email@example.com.