White Yale Student Calls Police On Black Classmate For Sleeping In Dorm's Common Area: 'I Had Every Right To'
Add this to the ever growing list of things you cannot do while black.
May 09, 2018 at 6:09 pm
College students fall asleep in random places all the time, but apparently doing so can be detrimental if they are black.
According to Yale Daily News, Yale University graduate student Lolade Siyonbola was napping in the common area of her dorm when a white student called campus police on her.
Siyonbola recorded bits of the incident on Facebook Live. In one video, she is seen confronting the unidentified woman that summoned the officers.
In the video, the woman smugly tells Siyonbola she “had every right to call the police because you’re not supposed to be sleeping in that room.” According to Siyonbola's caption on the video, the same woman called the police on her friend for getting lost in the building a few months ago.
In another video, two Yale Police Department officers have arrived and ask Siyonbola to show her ID. When she asks the officers why, they tell her of the call and inform her that they need to confirm she belongs in the building. Siyonbola then uses her key to open her apartment door, but the officers still press her for identification.
“I deserve to be here; I paid tuition like everybody else. I am not going to justify my existence here,” she says in the video. “I am not going to be harassed.”
A third officer, a supervisor, arrived later. When Siyonbola asks the supervisor about the officers' line of questioning, the supervisor says it is all “protocol.”
The officers initially were unsure if Siyonbola actually was a student as they could not find her in the system. However, it was later discovered that she was not in the system due to her name being misspelled. Her ID card was returned to her after a YPD supervisor confirmed she was able to enter her apartment with her keys.
Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean Lynn Cooley sent an email about the incident asking students to promote an inclusive environment.
“Incidents like that of last night remind us of the continued work needed to make Yale a truly inclusive place,” Cooley said in the email. “I am committed to redoubling our efforts to build a supportive community in which all graduate students are empowered in their intellectual pursuits and professional goals within a welcoming environment. An essential part of that effort must be a commitment to mutual respect and an open dialog.”
Neither Siyonbola nor Yale Police Chief Ronnell Higgins responded to Yale Daily News' requests for comment.