Black Yale student reported to police for sleeping in students’ common area says she recorded video because of Sandra Bland
Yale grad student Sarah Braasch, 43, called the police on fellow grad student Lolade Siyonbola, after seeing her napping in the dorm’s common area
Siyonbola, 34, was subjected to lengthy questioning by responding police officers, forced to prove her student status after, Braasch, a white student saw her napping and called cops to remove her
Cops questioned Siyonbola for over 15 minutes, even after she showed her ID and opened her dorm room to confirm she was a Yale student
She characterized police actions during the encounter as “harassment,” and has called for systemic change amid the controversy
Siyonbola filmed the encounter then posted the video on Facebook
She was conscious of the situation where 28-year-old Black college grad, Sandra Bland died in a Texas jail cell in 2015, days after getting into a heated exchange with a state trooper who had pulled her over for a traffic violation
Trooper, Brian Encinia, used force while arresting Bland, but authorities ruled her death a suicide by hanging in a police cell, a ruling her family has disputed
The ‘harassed student said”Someone who uses the police in the way that Sarah uses it should be held accountable” and face some form of disciplinary action
“There needs to be some punitive measures for people who act out of racially motivated bias,” Siyonbola says of Braasch who also called police on another Black Yale student, months ago
Yale student, Lolade Siyonbola, said on “GMA” that she filmed her encounter with police out of concern for her “safety.”
A black Yale student who was reported to police after she fell asleep in her dorm’s common space says she filmed her encounter in an effort to defend her “safety.”
Lolade Siyonbola was subjected to lengthy questioning by police and was forced to prove her enrollment to authorities after a white student saw her napping and reported her. Siyonbola then posted video of the exchange to Facebook.
“I posted the video just for my safety,” Lolade Siyonbola said, speaking on “Good Morning America.”
The video has since gone viral, sparking a larger discussion about prejudice.
“I have always said to myself since Sandra Bland was killed, I said to myself if I ever have an encounter with police I’ll film myself,” Siyonbola told ABC News in an interview that aired Monday on “Good Morning America.”
Bland died in a Texas jail cell in 2015, days after getting into a heated exchange with a state trooper who had pulled her over for a traffic violation. The trooper, Brian Encinia, used force while arresting her.
Authorities ruled her death a suicide by hanging, but her family disputed the ruling and said they didn’t believe that Bland, 28, would’ve taken her own life.
Encinia was later fired after an investigation determined he didn’t follow correct protocol.
One of the videos shared by Siyonbola, 34, show police interrogating her for more than 15 minutes, even continuing to do so after she unlocked her dorm room to show them where she lived.
Another video shows Sarah Braasch, the woman who called the police, telling Siyonbola, “I have every right to call the police. You cannot sleep in that room.”
Still from video shows police cloister around Siyonbola. She was questioned for over 15 minutes, even after she showed her ID and unlocked the door to her dorm room
Siyonbola — who described the police officers’ actions as “harassment” during the encounter — is now calling for systemic change amid the controversy.
“Someone who uses the police in the way that Sarah uses it should be held accountable,” Siyonbola told ABC. “Whether that’s expulsion (or) some other form of disciplinary action, there needs to be some punitive measures for people who act out of racially motivated bias.”
Siyonbola says Braasch also called the police on another black Yale student several months ago.
Racist or just intolerant? Sarah Braasch [photo], was riled after seeing Siyonbola sleeping in the dorm’s common area. She woke her fellow student, told her she was not allowed to be there and called authorities.
Braasch, 43, previously condemned “hate crimes legislation” in a 2011 blog post.
“Hate crimes legislation is stupid. Seriously stupid. Abominably stupid. I hate hate crimes legislation. But, I love hate speech,” she wrote in the 2011 post for Daylight Atheism.
Police have admitted their interaction with Siyonbola took longer than such encounters normally do and blamed the lengthy exchange on Siyonbola’s name being misspelled in a Yale database.
Video of the encounter drew thousands of Facebook reactions and comments within hours of Siyonbola’s original post on May 8.
Lynn Cooley, the dean of Yale’s graduate school of arts and sciences, sent an email to graduate students that same day, telling them that Siyonbola had every right to be in the building and inviting them to share their concerns about the incident.
“Incidents like that of last night remind us of the continued work needed to make Yale a truly inclusive place,” she wrote. “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.”
Since the videos surfaced, Siyonbola said she’s received “overwhelming” support.
“Black Yale community is beyond incredible and is taking good care of me,” she wrote on Facebook. “I know this incident is a drop in the bucket of trauma Black folk have endured since Day 1 America.”