Iowa City police released body-cam videos of Iowa defensive end Faith Ekakitie’s encounter with armed officers last week, and it’s pretty much exactly like he described in a now-viral Facebook post.
And that was: Ekakitie, who was in a park playing Pokemon Go, fit the description of an armed man who had just attempted to rob a nearby bank; Ekakitie cooperates as the officers search him and determine he wasn’t the person they were looking for; no one is harmed.
“Just keep your hands up,” one of the officers is heard telling Ekakitie as they approach. “It’s probably not you, but we gotta check, you understand?”
Ekakitie and the officers engage in some friendly conversation as the run the third-year player’s ID and search him for weapons.
“Will not lie to you, I was terrified,” he tells the officers of when they first approached him with their guns drawn.
“Sorry, we don’t really like doing that, but you get it,” one of the officers tells him.
In his July 20 Facebook post, Ekakitie discusses the incident in relation to other recent events involving police officers and African American men. Even though it ended up being a positive experience of sorts, he stated it “was the first time that I’ve ever truly feared for my life.”
He added: “I am not one to usually rant on Facebook or anywhere else, but with all of the crazy things that have been happening in our world these past couple of weeks it is hard to stay silent. I am thankful to be alive, and I do now realize, that it very well could have been me, a friend of mine, my brother, your cousin, your nephew etc.
“So with that, I would like the thank the Iowa City Police department for handling a sensitive situation very professionally. I would also urge people to be more aware of their surroundings because clearly I wasn’t. Lastly, I would urge us all to at least to attempt to unlearn some of the prejudices that we have learned about each other and now plague our minds and our society. I am convinced that in the same way that we learned these prejudices, we can also unlearn them.”