Police officers in Virginia are under fire for handcuffing and detaining four Black male college students with at least one gun drawn. They were stopped for having a broken tail light, and of course, many believe this is yet again just another case of racial profiling.
The students from Virginia University of Lynchburg play for the school’s football team, and were reportedly on their way back to the campus after their early morning practice.
A video, which has now been removed from Facebook but still has screenshots, shows the four men in handcuffs while sitting on a curb. An officer can be seen pulling out his gun because he said he smelled marijuana.
“The reason I reached for my gun is because I smelled marijuana,” an officer can be heard saying. “The supreme court says guns and drugs go together.”
The officers searched the car twice but did not found any drugs. The students instead received a ticket for the broken tail light.
“Those are my kids on the sidewalk,” VUL football coach, Bobby Rome, told ABC 13 News. “They’re not criminals, gangsters, they’re not drug dealers. They’re not murderers. They’re here to get an education.”
Meanwhile, the Lynchburg Police Department hasn’t released the names of the officers involved and declined to comment, but they said they are conducting their own investigation.
The university, which is an HBCU, said they would hold a community conversation with students and meet with police as well to prevent such alarming incidents from happening again.