A North Carolina Black man is furious and fearful after white police officers responding to a false burglar alarm barged into his home, put him in handcuffs at gunpoint and then walked him to a police car five houses down the street in only his underwear.
“I was counting the seconds because I thought [the officer] was going to kill me,” Kazeem Oyeneyin, 31, told ABC News about the incident that took place at his Raleigh home on Aug. 17. “He was shaking the gun. All he has to do is slip and hit that trigger and I’m dead.”
According to Oyeneyin, it all started that weekend when a friend who was staying at his home left, setting off his home security system.
Oyeneyin, who was asleep at the time, didn’t hear the alarm go off as soon as it happened. His cellphone, which is linked to the system, eventually woke him up with its own alert.
“I go downstairs. I disengage the alarm. I go back upstairs, I laid down. Twenty minutes later, I just hear these loud noises,” Oyeneyin said. “So, I come down my steps, I grab my gun because I don’t know who’s in the house.”
This was around 12:21 p.m. Oyeneyin works at night as a party and hip-hop concert promoter.
Security video from Oyeneyin’s home shows an officer swinging the unlocked front door open as he announces himself.
Oyeneyin responds, when asked if he had a gun, confirmed that he did. The officer demands that Oyeneyin drops the weapon, which he apparently readily does as a clatter is heard in the background (Oyeneyin was not in the frame of the video at this point).
The officer then asks Oyeneyin to come outside, which he protests, demanding to know what he has done wrong.
“Just turn around and put your hands behind your back and get down on your knees,” the officer says.
Oyeneyin again questions why, although he readily complies with the officer’s orders.
The video then jumps to show Oyeneyin being cuffed by an officer, even as the homeowner demands to speak to a supervisor.
Eventually, two officers and a sergeant could be seen in the footage, with Oyeneyin insisting that he was in his home and not causing any trouble.
An officer could then be seen leading Oyeneyin outside in just his boxers. The homeowner said he was taken to a police car about five houses away.
“While the cop was trying to put me in the car, I’m screaming, like ‘Yo!’ because I want my neighbors to come out and tell them that I live there,” Oyeneyin said. “So, the neighbors are just looking through the windows and I’m just humiliated. Nobody wants to say nothing. Everybody’s just looking.”
Eventually, a second sergeant shows up to the scene who recognized Oyeneyin and had his handcuffed removes before escorting him back to his home.
“This is your homeowner,” that sergeant said, telling his colleagues that they would need to leave as Oyeneyin has explained that there has been no break-in and he required no assistance.
An officer off-camera could be heard trying to explain their actions. Nonetheless, all the officers ultimately left.
“This was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life,” he said. “I mean, I felt like my character was defamed. I went outside the other day, the neighbors wouldn’t even wave at me. They don’t know what’s going on. They think I’m a whole criminal over here.”
Oyeneyin has still not decided what action he is going to take. Officers identifying themselves as being a part of internal affairs had reportedly shown up to his house following the incident offering to take him to the station to make a formal complaint, but he declined.
“They’ve got me scared. I ain’t going to lie to you,” Oyeneyin said. “I don’t know how to trust them.”
Meanwhile, Raleigh police said that they are looking into the incident.
“The Department is looking into this incident and reviewing our officers’ actions,” the department said in a statement. “We have attempted to contact the homeowner several times over the past few days to discuss this incident with him.”