A young Black man was recorded at the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport after he was accused of stealing his own backpack.
The student, who was only identified by his first name, Daeshaun, was on his way to visit his mother in Sacramento, California.
Video of Daeshaun nearly being arrested for claiming his own bag went viral on social media after it was shared on TikTok on June 7.
A woman only identified by her TikTok handle “rea_of_light” recorded the video, and she shared it with the caption, “This man was accused of stealing his own bag…because he walked over to throw something away. Police at MSP threatened to arrest him FOR STEALING HIS OWN BAG. You cannot tell me that this isn’t racial profiling.”
Daeshaun is heard on the video repeatedly telling the officer that the bag was his and that he had just walked to the garbage to throw something away. He also said he saw the person who took his bag to the front desk. “I was right there!” Eventually, Daeshaun began to get frustrated and said, “This is my bag, so what the f—k is the problem?”
“You’re gonna be under arrest” the officer responded.
After he showed his identification, the officer still appeared not to believe him. Even when the woman intervened and confirmed she’d seen Daeshaun with the bag earlier, the officer seemed skeptical. “It was over there with another family,” insisted the officer. “I know,” replied the woman. “He was sitting by it very much earlier …” she explained.
“Okay. Cool,” replied the policeman. Another Black man waiting to board noted that there were cameras in the airport. The officer responded that he knew that, but he didn’t have time to check because there was another incident happening.
The woman explained in a follow-up video that she was waiting to board the flight with her 9-year-old daughter, and she saw Daeshaun walk away from his bag to throw something away in the trash. She said someone took the bag to the front desk while she was trying to gather her daughter and their things and wasn’t paying attention. She later learned that another traveler thought the bag might have been left by a family who’d already boarded the plane.
The TikTok mom recalled that a gate agent called down to the plane to inquire about the family when Daeshaun approached the front desk and said, “Hey, that’s my bag.”
She said that after some back and forth between the police officer and Daeshaun, she began recording. After she noticed things were escalating, she gave the phone to her daughter to record so she could intervene. The woman also noted that no one had claimed their bag was stolen, but after she confirmed that the backpack was Daeshaun’s, the police officer backed off, but the college student was not allowed to board until after he provided identification.
“Once I stepped in, the cop changed his tone,” she said. “That feels like racial profiling to me.”
TikTok and Twitter users responded to the video on social media.
“I’m not sure what’s worse the fact the he wouldn’t just let him show him the ticket in the bag as proof or that he just took the white lady’s word4 it,” noted one TikToker.
Another TikTok user replied, “I had the feeling the officer knew he was wrong from the get go his pride/ego wouldn’t let him back down. The lady gave him an out. Infuriating.”
“Need to carry a white lady for ID,” added a third.
The video was also shared on Twitter, and one user wanted to know the police officer’s identity so that he could have him fired.
“Has anyone figured out who the cop is? I’m ready to make sure he has no job after this behavior,” they wrote. “I’m disgusted and want him to answer for his blatant racism. This needs to be reported, and cops like that have NO business working with the public. He needs to pay ASAP!”
One person asked why the woman didn’t intervene sooner, which prompted a reply from another person noting that it was important to document police behavior as proof.
“This racism needs not only to be addressed but documented,” they wrote. “She filmed and then intervened, if the guy had been arrested there would have been evidence of the cop’s failure to let him show his verification or speak to check-in.”
Daeshaun thanked the woman for helping him out in the comment section of the follow-up post.
“Thank you for the support and the help!!!! GOD BLESS,” he wrote.