A black Yale graduate student took a nap in her dorm's common room. So a white student called police

Date: 
May, 2018
Country: 
United States of America

Siyonbola was working on a paper in the Hall of Graduate Studies when she fell asleep in a common room.

Another female student came in, turned on the lights and told her, "You're not supposed to be sleeping here. I'm going to call the police."

Siyonbola pulled out her phone and recorded 54 seconds of a hallway encounter with the unidentified student, who told her, "I have every right to call the police. You cannot sleep in that room."

After two white police officers arrived and began questioning her in a stairwell, Siyonbola posted 17 minutes of their encounter to Facebook Live.

When Siyonbola asked them about the complaint, one officer said, "She called us (and) said there's somebody who appeared they weren't ... where they were supposed to be."

The 34-year-old grad student in African Studies unlocked her dorm-room door in front of police to show that she lived there, but they still asked for her ID. "We're in a Yale building and we need to make sure that you belong here," the other officer told her.

After some hesitation, Siyonbola handed her ID over. "I really don't know if there's a justification for you actually being in the building," she told the officers, saying she needed to get back to working on her paper.

Eventually two more officers arrived. After some confusion about Siyonbola's ID -- her name was apparently misspelled in a student database -- the police told her she was free to go.

University officials will review the officers' response as they do with every incident, she said.

"Our officers are professionals who take great pride in working for Yale," she added. "They are trained on unconscious bias, de-escalation techniques, and problem solving, and seek to treat each individual with respect."

Source: CNN