As two men — one Hispanic and one Black — spoke outside their homes in Sacramento a police deputy pulled up and detained them shortly after suspecting “a crime” was being committed.
Ed Dowdy, a Black man and Army veteran, locked his keys and cell phone in his car and turned to his neighbor Omar, a Hispanic man and owner of a local cleaning business, to ask if he could borrow his cell phone to call a locksmith, Fox 40 reports.
“We were just having a conversation right here,” Omar, whose last name was not provided, told Fox 40, indicating they were in front of their homes inside a gated community.
Coincidentally, on the same day, Omar’s daughter had tripped his home burglar alarm and a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy responded to a call to investigate, Fox 40 reports.
Upon arrival at Dowdy and Omar’s homes, the deputy asked a question that surprised both men.
“Any of you guys on probation or parole?” Dowdy recalled to Fox 40.
Omar added, “That kind of surprised me. It kind of shocked us like, why would he even ask that? … I feel like he made up in his mind who we were at that moment.”
The deputy denied Omar’s request to go inside his home to get his driver’s license.
“I told him, ‘I’ve got my ID in the house. My wife and kids are inside. Do you want me to go get it?’” Omar explained to Fox 40.
Still, the deputy, whose name has not been released, denied his request and instead wrote down the information Omar provided, which included him spelling out his first and last name and providing his date of birth.
When the deputy returned unable to find Omar’s information in the system, he put both men in handcuffs and told them they were being detained, Fox 40 reports.
“You’re out here, outside of a home where an alarm went off, right?” the deputy could reportedly be heard saying in the video footage captured by Omar’s Ring camera, which was recording the entire time.
“Well, I have reasonable suspicion to believe that a crime is being committed, right?” the deputy continued. “So, I can detain people.”
Both men asked to contact the deputy’s supervisor, but he declined, telling them “I’m not going to waste his time,” Omar recalled.
Dowdy told Fox 40 how the deputy was “belligerent” and searched him “without my consent.”
Both men were eventually released after another sergeant showed up to check the alarm and Omar’s wife descended from their home with his ID.
“There are so many different ways it could’ve been handled,” Omar told Fox 40.
Upon review of the surveillance video, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Tess Deterding released a statement saying, “it does not appear there is any violation of policy or law.”
“However, the video is insufficient in terms of drawing a conclusion,” Deterding said. “If these individuals feel the situation was not handled appropriately by Sheriff's Office personnel, we encourage them to contact us so we may gather more information.”
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images