Police in Clayton, Missouri employed a total of six separate squad cars to track down and apprehend ten black men accused of stiffing a local IHOP restaurant — only to find out later that they apprehended the wrong men.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the black men, who were all incoming freshmen at Washington University, were stopped by local police earlier this month and were accused of leaving a nearby IHOP without paying for their meals.
Even though some of the students pulled out receipts from the restaurant confirming that they had paid, the officers nonetheless forced all ten of the students to walk back to the IHOP while being followed by six squad cars.
Once they arrived at the restaurant, its manager told police that the students were not the men whom he believed left without paying.
Rob Wild, Washington University’s associate vice chancellor for student transition and engagement, wrote in an internal email about the incident that the incoming students involved were “shaken and upset,” especially since they “did not really appear to fit the description of the suspects other than being black.”
“This is obviously extremely disappointing,” Wild went on to write. “Not how any of us would like to welcome our new students.”
The Clayton Police Department says that the incident is currently under review.