NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT — Police are called to a Yale University dormitory on suspicion that a Black woman isn’t actually a student, all due to racial profiling.
CNN calls the encounter an “all-too familiar episode” regarding white people summoning police on Blacks for no justifiable reason.
In this particular situation, a Black, Yale University graduate student — Lolade Siyonbola — was interrogated by campus police early Tuesday morning, May 8, after white student Sarah Braasch found her sleeping in a common room of their dorm.
“I deserve to be here,” Siyonbola mentioned to officers. “I pay tuition like everybody else. I’m not going to justify my existence here.”
According to Siyonbola, she was working on a paper in the Hall of Graduate Studies when she fell asleep in a common room.
That’s when Braasch came in, turned on the lights, and told her, “You’re not supposed to be sleeping here. I’m going to call the police.”
So, Siyonbola pulled out her phone and recorded the hallway encounter with Sarah Braasch, who told her: “I have every right to call the police. You cannot sleep in that room.”
According to the source, after two white police officers arrived and began questioning Siyonbola in a stairwell, she posted 17 minutes of their encounter to Facebook Live. Interestingly enough, they took Braasch elsewhere to question her.
CNN reports as follows.
“When Siyonbola asked them about the complaint, one officer said, ‘She called us (and) said there’s somebody who appeared they weren’t … where they were supposed to be.’ The 34-year-old grad student in African Studies unlocked her dorm-room door in front of police to show that she lived there, but they still asked for her ID. ‘We’re in a Yale building and we need to make sure that you belong here,’ the other officer told her. After some hesitation, Siyonbola handed her ID over. ‘I really don’t know if there’s a justification for you actually being in the building,’ she told the officers, saying she needed to get back to working on her paper.”
The source mentions that, eventually two more officers arrived to the dormitory. Apparently, there was confusion about Siyonbola’s ID, since the school had her name misspelled in a student database.
However, after they rectified the situation, police told her she was free to go.
Many commentators protest Braasch’s actions toward the student, feeling her decision was a racist assumption by the white student…as well as harassment of Siyonbola by the campus police.
NOTE: And as you heard from Siyonbola, Braasch seems a bit “unstable.” That’s further emphasized in this particular article from her called, “The Scars of Religious Upbringing.” Probably should’ve also included the scars of racist upbringing as well.
Nevertheless, according to CNN, one man wrote: “This sorta incident breaks my heart everytime… Why do white folks always call police on black folks all the time why?!!!”
“Incidents like that of last night remind us of the continued work needed to make Yale a truly inclusive place,” Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean Lynn Cooley wrote in an email to campus students.
“I am committed to redoubling our efforts to build a supportive community in which all graduate students are empowered in their intellectual pursuits and professional goals within a welcoming environment. An essential part of that effort must be a commitment to mutual respect and an open dialog.”
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[Featured Photo via Lolade Siyonbola / Facebook]