Iowa Football Player Playing Pokémon Go Mistaken For Bank Robber, Held At Gunpoint By Police. He Lived.
Bad news: an University of Iowa football player had police officers pull out guns on him after mistaking him for a robbery suspect. Good news: he lived to talk about it.
The story goes, senior defensive lineman Faith Ekakitie was on his way walking to the park to play a game of Pokémon Go. Unbeknownst to him, he fit the description of a man who had just robbed nearby bank. So when Iowa City police officers saw Ekakitie walking down the street looking for Snorlax, they thought he was looking for a getaway and approached him.
That is when sh*t got real. Ekakitie documented the experience on his Facebook page saying:
Today I was surrounded and searched by approximately five Iowa City Police Officers. My pockets were checked, my backpack was opened up and searched carefully, and I was asked to lift up my shirt while they searched my waistband. Not once did they identify themselves to me as Iowa City Police officers, but with four gun barrels staring me in the face, I wouldn’t dare question the authority of the men and woman in front of me. This is what happened from my point of view.
From the police officers point of view, all they knew was that a bank had just been robbed less than ten minutes ago. The suspect was a large black male, wearing all black, with something on top of his head and the suspect is armed. As they drive past an Iowa City park that was less than 3 minutes away from the bank that was just robbed, they notice a large black man, dressed in all black, with black goggles on his head. They quickly move to action and identify themselves as the Iowa City police and ask me to turn around and place my hands up. I do not comply, they ask again, and again no response from me. So they all draw their guns and begin to slowly approach the suspect.
In this situation, what the media would fail to let people know is that the suspect had his headphones in the entire time the Police Officers approached him initially. The suspect had actually just pulled up to the park because he was playing a newly popular Game called Pokémon Go. The suspect didn’t realize that there were four cops behind him because his music was blaring in his ears. The suspect had reached into his pockets, for something which was his phone, but for all the cops could have known, he was reaching for a gun. The suspect could very well become another statistic on this day.
Later in the post Ekakitie commended the officers for how they handled the situation, proving that properly trained ones can indeed determine when and when not to use deadly force. He also urged people to look past their prejudices and be more aware of their surroundings.
Positive outlook for such a lucky guy.
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