This cop pulled his gun on a student who was picking up trash in front of his dorm.
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Zayd Atkinson, a student at Naropa University, was confronted by an officer while picking up trash for his work-study job outside of his dorm. The officer did not have reasonable suspicion that a crime was occurring and was not entitled to demand Atkinson’s date of birth, according to an independent review by a former U.S. Attorney.
Research shows Black people are often exposed to heightened scrutiny and suspicion, which can begin early in childhood. 54% of Black Americans say they felt others ‘have been suspicious of them because of the color of their skin,’ compared to 6% of white Americans.
Several officers, some with guns drawn, surrounded Atkinson. A college faculty member later appeared to back up Atkinson. The police officers never asked the faculty member, a white man, to confirm his identity or prove that he worked for the college.
After almost 15 minutes, the officer gave Atkinson back his ID and left. The officer resigned two weeks after the incident but will remain on the city payroll until February 2020. An internal investigation found the officer violated 2 department policies but did not conclude he was racially biased.
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