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A Parent On A College Tour At Colorado State University Called The Cops On Two Native American Students & It Says A Lot About Racial Profiling

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The first time you visited your dream school, you were probably super excited (and OK, a little nervous). Maybe you were in awe of the campus. Maybe you felt super welcomed by the friendly campus community.

Two Native American brothers didn’t have such an experience at Colorado State University, where they were stopped by police while on a campus tour. When they arrived, a parent on the tour called the police because she was “nervous” about them joining the tour late, CNN reports.

The teenagers — Thomas Kanewakeron Gray, 19, and Lloyd Skanahwati Gray, 17, arrived to the university late but caught up with the tour group. When the group was moving through the gymnasium on campus, campus police officers asked the brothers what they were doing there, according to the Associated Press. The Washington Post reports that the officers also patted them down. The officers released them after they showed an email confirming they were part of the tour group, the Denver Post reports..

By that time, the tour had already moved on. The teenagers had saved up money to drive from New Mexico to Fort Collins, Colorado for the tour they missed out on, according to CNN.

“It breaks my heart because they didn’t do anything to warrant that,” their mother, Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray, told CNN affiliates. “They’re walking on their own ancestors’ land, so it breaks my heart.”

Many people are saying this is yet another example of racial profiling. According to the Denver Post, Gray said university officials have reached out to her to apologize. The university also issued a letter, the Washington Post reports

“This incident is sad and frustrating from nearly every angle, particularly the experience of two students who were here to see if this was a good fit for them as an institution,” university officials wrote.

Officials also said they are working to see how they can prevent incidents like this in the future, the Denver Post reports. The teenagers’ mother said her sons were excited about the possibility of attending CSU, according to the Denver Post. Thomas was especially excited after spending a year in community college.

“It is one of their first experiences out in the real world and they run into this cruel world,” she told the Denver Post. “That’s why we have to speak out, my sons need to find the courage to speak out.”

Thomas told the Associated Press that he thinks the incident was discriminatory.

“Me and my brother just stayed to ourselves the whole time,” Thomas told the Associated Press. “I guess that was scaring people – that we were just quiet.”


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