A rising sophomore at Smith College had her lunch interrupted when law enforcement approached her. According to reports, a dining hall employee called campus police because she “seemed out of place.”
When cops arrived, they soon realized the student was on break from her campus job.
In a statement released on Wednesday (Aug. 1), the school said there was “nothing suspicious about the student’s presence.” While the student wasn’t harmed or arrested, this incident is the latest in which police were called on a black person for non-illegal activities.
In a Facebook post, the student said the only thing she did to deserve having the cops called was “be black.
“I am blown away at the fact that I cannot even sit down and eat lunch peacefully,” she wrote. “I did nothing wrong, I wasn’t making any noise or bothering anyone. All I did was be black. It’s outrageous that some people question my being at Smith College and my existence overall as a woman of color.”
The student instructed those who shared the post to help her identify the person who called authorities to “confront and acknowledge the harm done to me as a student.” However, releasing the name of the caller would reportedly violate the school’s policy, Samuel Masinter, a spokesman for Smith College said.
The student’s encounter is similar to Lolade Siyonbola, a black Yale graduate student who had the police called on her for sleeping in a common area. Recording the encounter, police told Siyonbola that the caller said the person appeared “to be where they weren’t supposed to be.”
Amy Hunter, Smith College’s interim director of diversity and inclusion said in a statement the school “does not tolerate race- or gender-based discrimination in any form.”
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