Black Real Estate Agent and Clients Handcuffed at Gunpoint Outside of Michigan Home They Were Viewing

Real estate agent Eric Brown, left, said he was taking his client Roy Thorne and his son through a home in Wyoming, Mich., when he noticed a growing police presence outside. / WOOD TV

When a Black real estate agent glanced out the window of a house he was showing and saw a police officer circling the property with his gun drawn, he was afraid there was a fugitive in the yard.

“This is kind of a nice house, but there’s a criminal outside,” Eric Brown said he thought to himself when he saw the officer.

At the time, he was giving Roy Thorne and the man’s 15-year-old son, Sammy, a tour of a Wyoming, Michigan, home.

“He’s not going to buy this house now,” Brown worried.

However, he said he grew less concerned with making a sale and more concerned with staying safe when he noticed a second officer “behind a tree making hand gestures.”

Before the afternoon was over, police officers would order the trio out of the home and place them in handcuffs.

A typical showing

Brown, 46, with Grand Rapids Real Estate, arrived at the two-story, two-garage, brick-covered home at 2 p.m. Sunday and did what he always does. He tested the doorbell, used an app on his phone to open a lockbox that held the key and let himself in before his client arrived in order to open the closets and bedroom doors.

Thorne, 45, who Brown has known since they were teens, and Sammy arrived 10 minutes later.

The three waved to neighbors outside doing Sunday things — the guy who was mowing the lawn, the family next door who was hosting an outdoor gathering.

They didn’t notice when the officers arrived.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Elisha Fieldstadt