A Facebook Live stream of police officers in Royal Oak, Michigan, questioning a black man for reportedly ‘looking suspiciously’ at a white woman has gone viral.
The footage, taken by Royal Oak resident Kimiko Adolph, shows 20-year-old Devin Myers being questioned by multiple police officers who surrounded him and would not allow him to continue on his way.
According to Adolph, Myers had been on his way to get food when a white woman – dubbed ‘Sidewalk Annie’ – called police officers he had been looking at her suspiciously. This woman had reportedly been sat in a white car across the street as the incident unfolded.
Devin Myers Way to stay cool, calm and collected! Glad i was there. #SidewalkAnnie
Posted by Kimiko Adolph on Tuesday, August 13, 2019
While filming the incident, Adolph narrated the events she had witnessed:
He has been pulled over walking to go to eat for suspicion of being black and looking at the Caucasian woman.
They got him surrounded. So I’m not going to leave the brother out here.
In the video, Myers can be heard telling the officers he had been heading to the Inn Season Cafe to meet his girlfriend when the accusation was made.
Inn Season Cafe manager Erin Frey stayed by Myers’ side throughout his ordeal, repeatedly telling officers their response to the situation had been inappropriate.
After Myers was eventually able to walk away, Frey – who is a white woman – told officers:
She called because he is a Black guy.
If that were me walking across the street and walking in, this would not be happening.
Royal Oak, MI police stopped a 20-yr-old Black man for “looking suspiciously” at a white woman.
Devin Myers was walking when cops began questioning him.
This racist foolishness has caused many brothers to be killed.
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) August 14, 2019
Senator to Michigan’s 13th State Senate district, Mallory McMorrow, made the following public statement on Facebook:
I’m proud to represent 8 wonderful cities in Oakland County every single day, but part of the reason I was spurred to run for office was in reaction to a video of middle school students chanting “Build That Wall” at another student shortly following the 2016 election – at the very middle school that was my polling place just a few short days prior. It absolutely broke my heart.
I’ve heard countless stories from people in our community who have felt unwelcome – or even afraid – because of the color of their skin, or because they might look or sound different from many of the other residents around them. We can – and we must – do better.
We are better when we do not fear each other. We are better when we speak openly and honestly about our backgrounds, challenge our own biases, and work every day to be more welcoming, to lead with kindness and curiosity, to learn about each other to build a rich, diverse community.
UNILAD reached out to the Royal Oak Police Department for comment, who advised the incident is currently under investigation.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.