'Humiliating': North Carolina homeowner cuffed, detained after false alarm

Joel Brown Image
Monday, August 26, 2019
'Humiliating': North Carolina homeowner cuffed, detained after false alarm
Josh Einiger reports on the homeowner cuffed by police inside his own home in North Carolina.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A police department in North Carolina is under fire after a homeowner was handcuffed by police inside his own home.

The whole thing was caught on camera, and the homeowner believes his race may have played a role in the arrest.

Kazeem Oyeneyin has lived in his home in North Raleigh for the past five years, and he says this wasn't the first time his home security system has been tripped by mistake.

Typically, he says, if police show up, he shows his ID to prove he's the homeowner, and while there may be a fine to pay, the situation is resolved quickly.

But that is not what happened last Saturday.

Oyeneyin was asleep when police came to his house to check on the accidentally triggered burglar alarm, and they apparently believe he was a robber.

They drew their weapons, handcuffed him and put him in a police car before finally confirming his identity and releasing him.

Now, he says he wants an apology.

On the audio from the surveillance camera posted at Oyeneyin's front door, you can hear the Raleigh police officer instructing him, "Turn around and face away from me."

Oyeneyin responds, "Why, for what?!"

He was in his boxer shorts in the foyer of his house when he said he was suddenly staring down the barrel of the officer's gun.

"This was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life," Oyeneyin said in an interview with sister station ABC11 about the incident.

The tape begins around 12:30 p.m. on August 17, when the officer arrived to Oyeneyin's unlocked front door.

"Hey, if you're inside make yourself known," the officer yells from the doorway, his service weapon drawn.

Raleigh police radio dispatch reports from that day show the officer was responding a "4-4," police code for a burglar alarm in progress.

Oyeneyin said a friend stayed over that night and tripped the alarm unknowingly when he left. Oyeneyin says he disengaged it and went back to sleep.

"I just laid back down, and all I heard was somebody screaming downstairs," he said. "So I grab my firearm because I don't know what's going on. And I run down the stairs, and it's a cop."

"Hey come out with your hands up," the officer yells from the door as Oyeneyin is still upstairs.

Oyeneyin tells the officer he has his firearm in his hand.

The officer responds, "Drop the gun! Drop the gun!" and Oyeneyin immediately puts the weapon on the floor.

Oyeneyin has a concealed-carry permit, and the 31-year-old makes his living as a well-known party and hip-hop concert promoter who is known in the industry as "Tim Boss."

"OK, come out here, come out for me," the officer yells.

Oyeneyin responds, "What you mean come on out? I got on my drawers!"

The incident continues to escalate as Oyeneyin is ordered to put his hands behind his back and get on his knees.

"We got a 4-4 alarm here," the officer says. "I got an open door. I'm trying to make sure."

Oyeneyin responds, "I just talked to the alarm people! I just talked to the alarm people!"

He says the officer refused to believe he lived in the home.

"I'm confused why he's still talking," Oyeneyin told ABC11. "He's asking me if I have ID. I told him yeah. (I just want him to) identify me and get me out of here. I was like, I need a supervisor. I definitely need to see your supervisor because this ain't right."

At least four other Raleigh police officers arrived on scene. With Oyeneyin in handcuffs, wearing just his underwear, he was escorted outside to a waiting police car.

"What have I done wrong? I have done nothing wrong," he can be heard saying as officers walk him outside while other officers searched his house.

"It's a lot of stories like this that go untold," said Raleigh community advocate Kerwin Pittman, executive Director of Recidivism Reduction Education Program Services. "There's no reason this man should have been pulled out of his house, not asked for paper ID, and it progressed that far. This man was criminalized, humiliated, stigmatized in his own home."

In a statement to ABC 11, a Raleigh Police spokesperson said, "The Department is looking into this incident and reviewing our officers' actions. We have attempted to contact the homeowner several times over the past few days to discuss this incident with him."

Oyeneyin said what he wants is an apology, while Pittman is calling for disciplinary action against the officer involved.

"Being black could definitely be one the issues, the problem," Oyeneyin said. "I hope it's not. But if that's what it is, it needs to be resolved."


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