Editor's note: Video contains graphic language.
Wayne State Police Chief Anthony Holt released a statement April 26 regarding the apprehending of a man for what they say was trespassing on WSU property after they caught him playing video games in the basement of the Student Center Wednesday.
"Any person who is not authorized to be in that area or with his history would have been escorted out of the building," Holt said. "This was clearly not an act of racial profiling.
Our officers undergo extensive racial sensitivity training, and our department prides itself on the diversity of its personnel and our work to ensure our campus is inclusive and welcoming to everyone. But we must enforce the rules, which are there for everyone’s safety."
The man, who is not a WSU student, had been warned not to return to WSU after prior incidents and was identified by officers during their routine patrol through the building, officers on the scene told The South End.
As the incident unfolded and police detained the man outside the Student Center, a crowd of passing students gathered and chanted “Wayne State discriminates” at the police.
One person proposed blocking WSUPD vehicles before they could leave with the man.
Junior history student Andrew Bradley said he and his friends saw police kick the man out.
“They (the officers) rushed him out of the place and we all just decided to follow him up and see what was going on,” said Bradley.
Some students at the scene said they believed the detainment was racially motivated. Bradley and Junior secondary education student Zack Sitek called the man’s apprehension unwarranted and unfair.
“They kicked out this guy (out) for no reason, and it was obviously a black man in the presence of police,” Sitek said. “You got to have people watching. We watched the interaction and had a big group telling them to let him go.”
An officer on the scene who wished to remain unnamed said the situation was “a minor incident” and that police were surprised by students’ reaction. Police say the man will be processed at the station.
Video by Omar Abdel-Baqui