When White People Call the Police on Black People

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A Yale spokeswoman said the officers followed procedures, but Kimberly M. Goff-Crews, the university’s vice president for student life, said in an email to students she was “deeply troubled” by the episode. On Thursday, Yale made a point to emphasize that officers had told the caller that this was not a police matter.

Three teenagers looking for last-minute deals before a prom were trailed by Nordstrom Rack employees in suburban St. Louis on May 3. When they left the store carrying the items they bought, they were met by the police outside. The officers let them go after looking at their receipts and inside their bags and car.

Nordstrom Rack’s president called the three men to apologize. A company spokeswoman said in a statement the employees didn’t follow policy, which directs employees to call the police only in emergencies.

Three black people loaded suitcases into their car after staying at an Airbnb in Rialto, Calif., on April 30, but they were halted by the police after a neighbor suspected they were burglars. They were questioned by officers as a helicopter flew overhead.

The renters are suing the Rialto Police Department, which said in a statement it was “confident officers treated the involved individuals with dignity, respect and professionalism.” Airbnb said in a statement that the guests’ treatment was “unconscionable.”

The everyday suspicions are not limited to African-Americans. Other people of color face increased scrutiny. On April 30, two Native American brothers were touring Colorado State University when a parent reported them to the campus police, saying their behavior and band T-shirts were suspicious. Officers pulled them aside and questioned them for about four minutes before releasing them to rejoin the tour, but the guide had already moved on.

The university said it was “sad and frustrating from nearly every angle,” and offered to reimburse the prospective students for the trip and bring them back as V.I.P. guests.

An owner and employees of Grandview Golf Club in Dover Township, Pa., called the police on a group of black women who they said were playing too slowly on April 21. Officers left the golf course after they “quickly determined that this was not a police issue,” said Mark L. Bentzel, chief of the Northern York County Regional Police Department.

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