California cop arrests black Army veteran and Hispanic neighbor as they wait for locksmith after accidentally tripping house alarm
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA: A California police officer handcuffed a Hispanic man and his African American neighbor while they were waiting for a locksmith outside one of their homes after an alarm had accidentally tripped.
Army veteran Ed Dowdy approached his Hispanic neighbor Omar on Sunday morning and asked if he could borrow a phone after he had mistakenly locked his phone and keys in his car.
A Sacramento County sheriff's deputy pulled up as the pair were chatting outside waiting for a locksmith to arrive. The officer was responding to a burglary alarm Omar's daughter had accidentally set off earlier that day.
Speaking to Fox 40, the men described how the deputy assumed they were doing something suspicious when they were just standing in front of their own homes.
According to them, the deputy's first question was, "Any of you guys on probation or parole?"
"It kind of shocked us, like, why would he even ask that?" Omar, who owns a cleaning business, said. "Like, do we look like criminals or something? And to me, I feel like he made up in his mind who we were at that moment."
Omar then offered to go grab his driver's license from inside his home as proof of identity. "I told him, 'I've got my ID in the house. My wife and kids are inside. Do you want me to go get it? I can go get it'," he recalled. But the officer said he would just "write it down" before checking for criminal records on Omar.
Despite finding nothing to incriminate the pair, the deputy placed both of them in handcuffs.
"You're out here, outside of a home where an alarm went off, right? You guys are just standing out here and your name isn't very good," the officer is heard saying in the Ring footage. "Well, I have reasonable suspicion to believe that a crime is being committed, right? So, I can detain people."
According to Dowdy, the "belligerent" officer subsequently searched him without his consent. The men were only released after a police sergeant showed up at the scene. Omar and Dowdy said they respect law enforcement and did their best to cooperate with the deputy.
However, they said they were mistreated this time.
"I don't feel like we should be yelled at or put in handcuffs or frisked or searched," Dowdy said. "There are so many different ways it could've been handled," Omar added.
"From a general review of the [Ring] video, it does not appear there is any violation of policy or law," Sacramento County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Sgt Tess Deterding told Fox 40. "However, the video is insufficient in terms of drawing a conclusion."
"If these individuals feel the situation was not handled appropriately by Sheriff's Office personnel, we encourage them to contact us so we may gather more information," he added.