A Black Teen Was Racially Profiled While Working On A Class Experiment On Racial Profiling

The 17-year-old was working on an assignment that looked at how race would impact people’s decisions to help a stranger.
Paula Rogo Nov, 13, 2018

A Black Colorado high school student was the victim of a racist incident while he was out on a class assignment at a local mall.

According to KDVR-TV, Channing Cowan, 17, was working on an assignment, with three classmates from his psychology class, that looked at how race would impact people’s decisions to help a stranger. The experiment was to ask strangers to borrow cell phones while at Cherry Creek Mall in Denver.

RELATED: Discover Success Secrets with the ESSENCE Network Newsletter

RELATED: Vancouver Casino Apologizes After Drake's Accusation Of Racial Profiling

But things took a wrong turn when Cowan was grabbed by a stranger and accused of stealing his wife’s wallet. The man was white.

“He actually grabbed me and threatened to whoop my you know what if I didn’t give his wallet back,” said Cowan told KDVR-TV. The incident was captured on camera.

RELATED: Black Woman Wrongly Arrested At Gun Point Files Lawsuit Claiming Racial Profiling

RELATED: Watch #InMyFeed: We Cape for Serena Williams And Talk About Racial Profiling

Eventually, the woman found that she’d left the wallet in a store and apologized. The man involved walked away without an apology.

Cowan’s parents, Alice and Michael Cowan, say they know for a fact that their son was racially profiled.

“My heart didn’t break because I know it happens all the time, but it was so scary for me because I wasn’t there. I know he’s a senior, but at the same time he’s my baby,” said Alice Cowan. “It disturbs me.”

She added: ”Lately it just seems like things have gone so far back. We’ve gone backward instead of forward. People just feel like they can say and do whatever they want to do.”