A police stop involving two Black college students could have turned deadly in New Jersey on Monday (Oct. 1). Cops pulled guns on the Rowan University students and placed them in handcuffs, a viral video revealed.
The shocking incident happened after police received a report of a gunman on the campus of the New Jersey university, WCAU reported. Glassboro, New Jersey police later released the students, who were unarmed, and realized their mistake. However, the situation was extremely alarming for the Rowan community.
A town hall meeting is scheduled to discuss the incident on Friday (Oct. 5).
Glassboro police officers explained why they stopped the students, saying they identified a vehicle that they believed belonged to a person who was reportedly armed, Rowan University officials said. The university released a detailed statement about the incident. “Being that it was believed that one of the occupants of the vehicle had a gun, police followed procedures and drew their weapons until all the occupants exited the vehicle and were searched,” a university spokesperson said.
The students were identified as Altaif Hassan, a senior from Trenton, New Jersey, and Giovanna Roberson, a freshman from Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Hassan stepped out of the vehicle, raised his hands and walked backwards toward the patrol car. Officers aimed their weapons at the student before bringing out handcuffs. Cops then demanded that Roberson exit the car and restrained her as well. After searching the students, police let them go.
The incident sheds light on the many other police stops that disproportionally happen to people of color who are unarmed and wrongfully confronted.