A black Yale University graduate student was confronted by campus police late Monday night. Her crime? Falling asleep on the couch in the common room of the graduate studies dorm.
The victim, Lolade Siyonbola, live-streamed the confrontation on Facebook, including some footage of the Yale student who called the police, Sarah Braasch. In the first clip, Braasch can be heard stating “I have every right to call the police, you can’t be sleeping here.”
In the second clip, Siyonbola is engaged in conversation with campus police as they ask her to verify that she belongs in the building. Although she showed police that she was able to open the door to her apartment, they still demanded identification from her.
According to the Yale Daily News, University Vice President of Student Life Goff-Crews sent out an email about the “deeply troubling” incident. She announced that she, Yale Police Chief Ronnell Higgins, and Graduate School Dean Lynn Cooley will be holding sessions soon to help avoid similar incidents. Goff-Crews also committed herself to working with students and faculty at Yale to improve the response to incidents of discrimination, as Siyonbola experienced. She wrote that Yale University “has so much more to do.”
After her videos gained serious traction on social media, Siyonbola posted a response to her Facebook page, stating that she is grateful for all of the support she has received from the black Yale community and beyond.