“I got on drawers bro, how the f*ck you mean I’m not supposed to be here?,” that was Kazeem Oyeneyin’s response to the police officer when the latter was explaining why he had detained and handcuffed him after responding to a false burglar alarm in his North Carolina home on August 17.
According to Oyeneyin in an interview with WTVD, the incident occurred when his home alarm system triggered while he was upstairs sleeping. He added that it was as a result of his friend who slept over, unknowingly tripping the system when he left.
Oyeneyin, who said he suspects he was mistreated because he is black, also revealed that wasn’t the first time the police had responded to a false alarm in his home, as they usually ask for proof of identification to verify if one is the homeowner when an incident of such nature occurs.
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In the video of the incident, Oyeneyin can be heard communicating with the responding officer who asks if there’s anyone in the house. After telling him he is around, the officer instructs him to come out with his hands up. Oyeneyin then tells the officer he has a gun (which is registered) on him, after which he is instructed to drop it and come out, which he does.
“I go downstairs. I disengage the alarm. I go back upstairs, I laid down. Twenty minutes later, I just hear these loud noises,” he told ABC News. “So, I come down my steps, I grab my gun because I don’t know who’s in the house.”
Though Oyeneyin tells the officer, who has his gun pointed at him that he is the homeowner and repeatedly asks why he’s being told to get on his knees with his hands up, he is, however, handcuffed, according to the video.
After other officers, including a sergeant, responded to the scene, Oyeneyin, who is still in his drawers, is taken out of the house and put in a police car. The officers then searched his house.
“While the cop was trying to put me in the car, I’m screaming, like ‘Yo!’ because I want my neighbors to come out and tell them that I live there,” he told ABC News. “So, the neighbors are just looking through the windows and I’m just humiliated. Nobody wants to say nothing. Everybody’s just looking.”
Oyeneyin was eventually released after another sergeant who knew him later responded to the scene. He then ordered the other officers to stop the search and come out of the house as he is the homeowner.
“Tell everybody they need to come on out. This is the homeowner,” the sergeant could be heard saying in the video.
The Raleigh police released a statement on their Facebook page on Tuesday explaining the incident, according to WTVD. They also said they have reached out to Oyeneyin and are reviewing the incident.
“While the resident stated he turned off his alarm prior to RPD’s arrival, the alarm company never called dispatch to cancel police response. Therefore, officers responded to what they believed was potentially a breaking and entering in progress. Additionally, while responding to the call, the first responding officer was made aware of a prior breaking and entering at this residence,” the statement partly read.
“As indicated on the resident’s video, the first responding officer observed the subject with a handgun and directed him to put the gun down and come to the front door. While the subject indicated he lived at the residence, the officer had no way to safely confirm the validity of the statement or check the residence for additional persons until other officers arrived on scene.”
In the aftermath of the incident, Oyeneyin told ABC News he was left scared and humiliated. He also revealed he declined an invitation to go to the police station to lodge a formal complaint. On the next line of action to take, he’s currently undecided.