Police called to probe Native American boys on campus tour, mom says sons racially profiled
Lorraine, in a Facebook post, wrote that a parent in the campus tour group "got nervous" and called the police on her sons because they were being "shy and quiet"
A parent, during a college campus tour, called the cops on two Native American teenagers — who were a part of the group — because she felt "nervous," according to reports.
The teenagers' mother, Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray, from New Mexico said she believed her two sons were racially profiled after a woman called police on Monday suspecting their presence during a Colorado State University (CSU) campus tour.
The teenagers, 19-year-old Thomas Kanewakeron Gray and 17-year-old Lloyd Skanahwati Gray, who are Mohawk, reportedly had "scraped their dollars together" to take their family to Fort Collins to tour the university campus. Their mother said that it was "their dream to study there," according to Newsweek.
Lorraine, in a Facebook post, wrote that a parent in the campus tour group "got nervous" and called the police on her sons because they were being "shy and quiet" and not "actively participating in the tour banter."
"The police officer pulled them aside and the tour continued without them," the mother said in her Facebook post.
She added that her sons, who had booked the tour online, showed their confirmation email for the tour to the officer, which proved that they had permission to be a part of the tour. The teenagers were subsequently "let go," Lorraine added in her post.
"By that time, they had lost site of the tour group and called me frantically, saying, 'Someone called the police on us because we were quiet!'" the mother said.
"I told them to leave immediately. I felt they had been the victim of racism and that they weren’t safe there," she continued in her post. She also added that she was "so furious" over the incident she "could explode."
Lorraine then called the campus police and the officer who responded to her call told her that he had recently moved to the area from Albuquerque and he felt like it "was a whole different culture up there [in Colorado]."
The officer reportedly added that "someone recently called the police because someone pulled a bumper sticker off their car" and that "when someone calls, no matter how stupid, the police must respond."
The mother then filed a formal complaint with the university.
A letter was subsequently sent out to the university students and staff, stating that the college was probing the incident.
"This incident is sad and frustrating from nearly every angle, particularly the experience of two students who were here to see if this was a good fit for them as an institution. As a University community, we deeply regret the experience of these students, while they were guests on our campus," the letter stated.
The letter was signed by the Vice President for Enrollment and Access Leslie Taylor, Vice President for Diversity Mary Ontiveros and Vice President for Student Affairs Blanche Hughes.