MINNEAPOLIS, MN – A University of Minnesota student made some pretty egregious allegations in an Instagram post about an interaction he had with campus police during the early morning hours of February 1st.
These allegations were detailed in an alleged synopsis of this interaction between the individual and officers, with this university student proclaiming that the officers were not only rude but exercising some form of racial bias in their endeavors when stopping to speak with him.
The University of Minnesota Department of Public Safety released footage from a squad car on Wednesday in response to community accusations that officers racially profiled and harassed a student.
By @avathompson6956 https://t.co/PSzQNXPiFN
— Minnesota Daily (@mndailynews) February 4, 2021
And as it turns out, portions of the student’s allegations were either highly embellished, or outright lies – and it was courtesy of the officer’s dash cam that picked up the audio of this interaction that laid to rest the outrageous claims made by the student.
It was shortly before 2:00 a.m. on February 1st when officers from the University of Minnesota Department of Public safety were dispatched to investigate a complaint of an armed robbery.
After officers had spoken with the victims in that case, they were informed that the suspect was wearing a dark hoodie.
While patrolling the nearby area from where the armed robbery was reported, police happened to spot a male wearing a dark hoodie and decided to quickly interview the individual briefly.
That person wound up being University of Minnesota student Nikil Badey, who posted this alleged account of the interaction that went on with the officers who went to quickly interview him:
“Last night, after finishing up my homework and honestly wrapping up a pretty long week, I wanted to go take a walk outside.”
“I was returning back home when I saw that there was a police car. Instinctively, a couple thoughts rushed to my mind: breathe, head up, don’t walk too fast – not too slow, be normal.
I took my mask off, I took my cap off, and I made sure that if anything happened that they were able to see my face.
Next to me, there was a white man with his mask off, walking his dog, wearing a black coat as well. I felt safe that there was another presence there and could see the cop cars at the corner of my eyes.”
“I turned the corner around 5th and 12th and saw sirens going off. Immediately, squad cars pulled on all the sides and cornered me where I couldn’t escape or speak.
The cop got out of his car and asked me all sorts of information, but the only thing I could think of was: what did I do wrong other than the fact I was a brown man. There were two cops behind me – hands on their guns.
I had my hands up and was struggling to find the words I always had thought I’d say if I was EVER in that situation but all I could think of: one sudden move and I would be shot.”
“I was able to show the officer my University ID saying that I was a university student just trying to clear my mind by taking a late night stroll but they wouldn’t believe me.
After multiple questions, they turned off their lights and left me alone: no apology, no explanation, nothing. Just me: mentally and emotionally tormented with an experience that will last a lifetime.”
The rather bombastic recounting of events by Badey wound up attributing numerous false allegations and overly dramatized elements of the interaction.
Considering the current state of affairs with how police are characterized, the UMPD took the allegations seriously. But upon looking into the incident, the UMPD found that there were some “misunderstandings” in Badey’s version of events and thought, “the public should see and hear what actually occurred.”
As heard in the video, the officer exits the squad car calmly and says:
“Hey, how’s it going? You just walking home? Did you see anything occur today or tonight a couple minutes ago or so?”
Badey then acknowledges the officer, which then the officer explains why he’s briefly interviewing the individual:
“We just had a robbery of a person and you kinda match the description, as far as someone wearing a dark hoodie.”
Badey responds with:
“Oh no, oh no…I swear…I am a University of Minnesota student.”
The officer responds with:
“OK no, I believe you, I appreciate it. You’re good to go. We just have a lot of cars around here.”
A second officer on the scene reiterates that Badey is “good to go,” and the first officer then apologizes for stopping Badey briefly:
“Alright sorry about that man, we just had a robbery that occurred in this location and whatnot, so we are just checking it out. We just wanted to chat with you. See a lot of cars out here. You’re free to go where are you living at these days? “
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Badey quickly responds and the officer wishes him a goodnight.
Thereafter, Badey even asked if the officer could give him a ride home – which the officer stated that he was unable to do that because they’re still searching for the suspect involved in the reported armed robbery.
Needless to say, the actual interaction is a far cry from how Badey characterized the interaction in his Instagram post.
This embellishment enacted by Badey has rightfully upset law enforcement officials within the area, as Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association Executive Director Brian Peters noted these sentiments recently:
“The truth is clear from the officer’s dash camera video: Mr. Badey’s encounter was extremely courteous and respectful.”
“We’re frustrated that an elected student leader would purposefully choose to stir further division against police on social media using false statements and fabrications. This is irresponsible and further divides the campus culture on safety and community.”
Law Enforcement Labor Services Executive Director Jim Mortensen stated that these sorts of fabrications are exactly the kind of thing that is not needed in the current climate as it relates to perception of law enforcement:
“Everyone deserves to be safe, and false accusations against law enforcement only incites unnecessary fear and minimizes the positive ways law enforcement helps our communities.”
Badey took to Instagram once again to try and somewhat walk back his accusations lodged against those officers, but still managed to malign police again with the following Instagram Stories post that read:
“First and foremost, I want to apologize for the campaign made over an encounter I had with the UMPD in the early morning on Feb 1.
I recognize the impact that this may have had on undermining or overshadowing the experiences of police brutality by those in the black community, especially those that have to deal with these types of encounters on a day-to-day basis.”
“The fear that I felt that night and continue to feel was genuine. The cop said that I matched the description of an armed robber and perceived me as a threat, even though I was walking home unarmed.
After I was done being questioned by the police, I was still in shock by the encounter.”
“Even though the police no longer considered me a suspect, there was still potentially an armed robber in the area.
So although this may seem like it conflicts with being afraid at that moment, I thought the safest option would be to ask for a ride home.”
It seems as though that Badey just loves to paint himself a victim – even when he wasn’t actually a victim.
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