In what is now becoming an everyday occurrence, white people continue to call the police on black folks for simply existing. This time it was because a black graduate student at Yale had the audacity to fall asleep in a dorm on campus—which apparently merited a call to the police.
Lolade Siyonbola was working on a paper, as graduate students tend to do, when she fell asleep in a common room in the Hall of Graduate Studies. According to CNN, that’s when another student found her and decided that she didn’t belong there.
Another female student came in, turned on the lights and told her, “You’re not supposed to be sleeping here. I’m going to call the police.”
Siyonbola pulled out her phone and recorded 54 seconds of a hallway encounter with the unidentified student, who told her, “I have every right to call the police. You cannot sleep in that room.”
Two white police officers arrived and insisted on obtaining Sinyonbola’s identification, even after she unlocked her dorm room door to prove that she not only belonged there but also lived in the building. Still, that wasn’t enough.
“We’re in a Yale building and we need to make sure that you belong here,” [an] officer told her.
After some back and forth, she handed over her school identification, only to encounter another obstacle when the name on her ID didn’t match her name in the school database. Eventually, the police left and followed up with the student who called the police—chastising her and letting her know that Sinyonbola did, in fact, have the right to be in the dorm. What they should have done was admonish her for wasting their time when they could have been out on campus and following up on actual crimes.
This should not be happening in 2018. Not only is it racist and ridiculous, it’s a waste of police time, energy and resources. Maybe if the police would start charging these white folks for falsely reporting crimes, they’d actually stop doing it.