A Black homeowner found himself in handcuffs while moving items into his new home in Kansas, a newly released police video revealed.
A happy experience turned nightmarish for Karle Robinson, 61, who a police officer confronted and restrained in Tonganoxie on Aug. 19, according to the Kansas City Star. The incident, shedding light on wrongful arrests of people of color, was motivated by race, Robinson said.
“If I’d been a white man, you know that wouldn’t happen,” Robinson said on Wednesday, watching body camera video of the incident. “I’m being handcuffed right here on my own damn property.”
Robinson was nearly finished with his move and about to take a TV into his home when an officer approached him at 2:30 a.m. that day. He asked for help, but the cop instead treated him as if he was a burglary suspect. Robinson informed the officer that he had just moved into the home and that his ownership papers were inside his place. The cop chose to handcuff Robinson and wait for backup to corroborate the man’s story.
The officer told Robinson that there were several break-ins in the neighborhood — a claim which the homeowner said wasn’t true. Robinson had talked with neighbors who reported no burglaries in the area, he said.
“They’re thinking I’m stealing,” he said. “I’ve been hearing this for 40 years — getting pulled over, being searched. I’m not going to let this go.”
A second officer arrived at the home and joined the first cop in questioning Robinson. The officers then went into the man’s home, found ownership documentation and released Robinson from his restraints. The incident, perhaps surprisingly, did end on a better note when the officers apologized and helped him move the TV, the video showed.
Robinson, however, filed a complaint with the police department about the incident.