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Iowa Football Player Held At Gunpoint By Police While Playing Pokemon GO After Being Mistaken For A Bank Robber

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DSMR- Iowa defensive end Faith Ekakitie wrote Wednesday in a note on Facebook that “today was the first time I’ve truly feared my life, and I have the media to thank for that.” The 6-3, 290-pound senior had just arrived at an Iowa City park to play the popular mobile-gaming app Pokemon Go. Elsewhere in town, a local bank had just been robbed, with the suspect identified as a large black male who was wearing all black and something on his head, Ekakitie’s post said. Iowa City police noticed Ekakitie, whose clothes matched the armed suspect’s description, at the park and took action, Ekakitie said in the post. Sgt. Jorey Bailey said Sunday that the bank robbery had occurred less than a block away from Ekakitie’s location. “The bank robbery call came out, and then two minutes later officers saw this person less than a block away from the bank matching the description.” Bailey said. Wearing his headphones when police approached him, Ekakitie said he didn’t realize four officers were behind him. Because he didn’t comply, police drew their guns and approached Ekakitie, he said. “My pockets were checked, my backpack was opened up and searched carefully, and I was asked to lift up my shirt while they searched my waistband,” Ekakitie wrote in the post.

 

 

Pokemon Go doing Pokemon Go things once again. No game has been tied to this much crime since the heyday of Grand Theft Auto 3. No publicity is bad publicity I guess? Super scary situation here though involving Iowa defensive end Faith Ekakitie. Bank gets robbed, guy gets misidentified as the bank robber in the area, guy doesn’t comply with police because he has his headphones in and doesn’t even know the police are there, the police draw their guns and…………the story actually has a pretty happy ending. Nobody got shot. Nobody got killed. Nowadays we’re pretty much just expecting stories like this to end in tragedy. Luckily that didn’t happen this time around. The police searched Ekakitie, realized he wasn’t their man and nobody got hurt.

 

Instead, Faith Ekakitie wrote a pretty poignant and moving Facebook post about the experience

 

In this situation, what the media would fail to let people know is that the suspect had his headphones in the entire time the Police Officers approached him initially. The suspect had actually just pulled up to the park because he was playing a newly popular Game called Pokémon Go. The suspect didn’t realize that there were four cops behind him because his music was blaring in his ears. The suspect had reached into his pockets, for something which was his phone, but for all the cops could have known, he was reaching for a gun. The suspect could very well become another statistic on this day. 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. Misunderstandings happen all the time and just like that things can go south very quickly. It is extremely sad that our society has brainwashed us all to the point where we can’t feel safe being approached by the police officers in our respective communities. Not all police officers are out to get you, but at the same time, not all people who fit a criminal profile are criminals.

 

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.

 

 

That’s only part of the post. You can read the whole thing here.