Police were called on a longtime African-American employee at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for walking to work.
Reginald “Reg” Andrade, who has worked as a case manager in the disability services office for the University of Massachusetts Amherst for 14 years, returned from a restroom break to find two plainclothes police officers waiting to question him, reported the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
An unidentified caller rang the university’s anonymous tip line at 7:45 a.m., saying that a “very agitated” African-American man had walked into the Whitmore Administration Building with a “large duffel bag … hanging off a strap, very heavy hanging on the ground,” according to a transcript of the call released by the university.
The result of the caller’s tip was that the building was locked down for the better part of an hour while police investigated Andrade.
For Andrade, according to the Gazette, the experience is a clear case of racial profiling, and one that left him shaken.
“How can somebody just walk by me, not even speaking, and try to discern that I was agitated?” Andrade said of the caller in an interview with the Gazette. “This is when it becomes dangerous, when people know how to push the buttons of law enforcement … Those were those strong key buzzwords: agitated black man dragging a heavy bag.”