A father and son, together with their realtor, recently discovered one of the many difficulties associated with living in a “see something, say something” culture. Roy Thorne and his son were held at gunpoint, arrested, and imprisoned despite the fact that they committed no crime, all because a neighbor informed police they were breaking into the house.
Last Sunday, while showing Thorne a property in Wyoming, cops came on the site with pistols drawn and ordered them out. PBWW website has previously reported on many cases similar to this one in which innocent individuals engaged in lawful activities were assaulted, shot, and even murdered in similar circumstances. Fortunately, Thorne and his son were not murdered; but, as seen in the video below, a single incorrect move might have swiftly gone sour.
As the video demonstrates, cops arrived in a tactical manner, brandishing weapons and screaming at the residents to leave the house. Despite full cooperation, the police maintained firearms on all three individuals while they were handcuffed.
“They kept their pistols drawn on us until we were all handcuffed,” Thorne told WOOD. “So, it was a little traumatic, I suppose because you never know what's going to happen in the current atmosphere of things.” Police stated in a statement that keeping them at gunpoint is normal practice for the kind of call they received.
“This is normal procedure when responding to a suspected home invasion in progress with several people inside a house,” Wyoming police said in a statement. However, if the house is not inhabited, it is not a home invasion, since the word itself implies that the home is legally occupied. This home was unoccupied.
Brown says to authorities after holding everyone at gunpoint that he is a realtor touring the house and that they were not doing anything illegal and had permission to be there.“Neighbors are reporting that you're breaking into the property,” the officer said. Brown replied, "I am the Realtor." Brown then requests that the police examine his real estate license, which is concealed within his wallet.
“If you take it out, you are required by law to carry it; there is my license,” Brown said.
After they were released from handcuffs, police revealed that the house had been broken into eight days before by a person driving a black Mercedes and that Brown's vehicle, a Hyundai Genesis, resembled the perpetrator's vehicle. According to the video, police subsequently apologized, but as Thorne stated, the harm had already been done.
“That cop returned and apologized once again, but the harm has been done,” Thorne added. “My son was a little disturbed; he hasn't seen anything like that before... he's not going to forget this.” "I'm pretty anxious, nervous, or even a little bit scared about what I'm going to do to protect myself if I'm going to show a home and the authorities are called on a whim like that," Brown explained. “Am I, by default, the criminal? Because that is essentially how we were treated in that situation.” Thorne offered some advice to the “see something, say something” population that is eager to phone 911 to report a non-crime. “We are identical to you. We share the same physical place. We carry out the same actions. We frequent the same locations,” he said.
"And if you see a crime, report it. However, if you observe individuals – Melanin people — doing regular activities, do not report them,” Thorne added. “When you do that, you are unaware that you have the ability to alter or end their lives just by making a phone call. In this case, it might have been three.” “You could have altered the course of my life and the course of my son's life,” he said.