A North Carolina man was held at gunpoint and handcuffed in his own home after police responded to an active home security system alarm that turned out to be a false alarm.
Raleigh Police Department (RPD) officers responded to the home on Aug. 17, just minutes after receiving a 911 call from the alarm company who said a burglary was in progress, but they say they were not informed by the alarm company that it was a false alarm before they encountered an armed homeowner, who they pointed a gun at and handcuffed, NBC News reported Tuesday.
After his friend accidentally set off the alarm while leaving the home, the homeowner, Kazeem Oyeneyin, 31, called the alarm company to inform them of the false alarm, but police say the alarm company didn’t update them of the situation.
Indoor surveillance video posted to Facebook on Aug. 22 by Oyeneyin’s friend, Kerwin Pittman, shows the encounter.
Oyeneyin claimed that the incident occurred because of his race, but the Raleigh Police Department rejected that assertion, instead claiming they could not initially verify that Oyeneyin was the homeowner.
RPD released a statement on Tuesday describing the details of the incident.
“An RPD officer arrived within minutes and found the front door ajar. After several attempts to contact anyone within the residence, an unidentified male who was armed with a handgun came into the officer’s view,” the statement said.
“While the resident stated he turned off his alarm prior to RPD’s arrival, the alarm company never called dispatch to cancel police response,” the statement continued. “Therefore, officers responded to what they believed was potentially a breaking and entering in progress.”
See attached note in response to the burglar alarm incident on August 17, 2019 at 12:26 pm. pic.twitter.com/8MdssPoQEb
— Raleigh Police (@raleighpolice) August 27, 2019
The statement noted that the home at that address had been burglarized before.
“As indicated on the resident’s video, the first responding officer observed the subject with a handgun and directed him to put the gun down and come to the front door. While the subject indicated he lived at the residence, the officer had no way to safely confirm the validity of the statement or check the residence of additional persons until other officers arrived on scene,” the statement explained.
“Based on all available facts known to the officer at the time, the resident was detained until additional officers arrived and his identity could be confirmed. The resident was detained for approximately 7 minutes while his identity was confirmed,” the statement noted.
Oyeneyin was clearly upset by the situation. Pittman told NBC News that Oyeneyin “honestly feels like if he was white he wouldn’t have been treated that way.”
The department has launched a review of the incident and has requested an interview with the Oyeneyin.
Pittman has called for two of the officers to be placed on administrative leave while the investigation is underway.