#MovingWhileBlack: Black man moving into his own home detained and handcuffed by Kansas police
Karle Robinson, a first-time homeowner, was working late into the night loading furniture into his brand-new house that he had always dreamed about before police pulled up and turned his night into a nightmare.
Robinson told The Kansas City Star that it was about 2:30 a.m. when he was confronted by cops on his doorsteps as he hauled an oversized Tv up the front steps.
“I could use a hand with this,” Robinson said as the officer approached and shined a flashlight in his face.
“I need you to put your hands on the side of the house . . .” the officer demanded.
On August 19, Robinson was tired after 12 hours of moving into his new home and resting against the TV in front of his Tonganoxie home before he was handcuffed by police and ordered to sit on the steps until back up arrived.
The 61-year-old he tried to explain that he had the documents to prove that he was the homeowner but everything was inside the house. Instead, he said, police treated him like a burglar. While Robinson said he understands the suspicion since it was the wee hours of the morning, he thinks he was treated like a criminal because he’s Black.
“If I’d been a white man, you know that wouldn’t happen,” Robinson said while watching a replay of the body camera footage he shared with the news outlet.
“I’m being handcuffed right here on my own damn property.”
Tonganoxie Police Chief Greg Lawson sided with the officers saying they were courtesy to Robinson as they investigated.
“If I were on that call, by myself, no matter the race of the person, they would have been handcuffed,” Lawson said about the officer who was alone.
Robinson remained calm asking: “Is this all necessary?” Robinson asked while handcuffed.
The officer explained that there had been quite a few break-ins.
“That’s a lie,” Robinson said on Wednesday.
When you’re Black, he said, “you’re guilty until proven innocent.“
“They’re thinking I’m stealing,” he said. “I’ve been hearing this for 40 years — getting pulled over, being searched. I’m not going to let this go.”
In the end, once the officers and Robinson worked out the misunderstanding, he still needed help hauling his TV. The officers ended the night was at least one act of kindness and helped carried it in.