On Tuesday, the Daily Mail reported that Anthony Edwards has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Cincinnati and three police officers after he and his real estate agent, Jerry Isham, were handcuffed and detained at gunpoint last year while touring an open house.
The police were summoned by Thomas Branigan, a retired police officer living next door, who called 911 to report them as home invaders and said they had “forced entry” into the house. He later admitted he did not have a view of the door at the time.
After the officers arrived, one of them demanded Edwards put his hands up and drew her service weapon. They were searched, upon which the police found Isham’s business cards. The two were eventually released without charges.
Both Edwards and Isham are black.
The incident bears a striking similarity to another that took place in Tennessee last May, when a white woman called the police on a black real estate investor who was inspecting a property next door he was hoping to flip for profit.
It also bears similarity to a number of other high-profile incidents in which white onlookers have called the police on black people for simply going about their daily lives — a practice that has gained new scrutiny in an age when the incidents can easily be captured on phones and uploaded to the internet. The state of Oregon is considering new landmark legislation that would make it easier to sue people who make racially-motivated 911 calls.