In yet another terrifying story about driving while black, a 27-year-old Ohio county worker was surrounded by officers with their guns drawn in Brooklyn, Ohio, this week. They accused the man, Michael J. Houser, of driving a stolen vehicle, according to Cleveland.com.
But the white Ford Fusion was not stolen after all, and belonged to Houser, who works as a special assistant to Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, the report says. Houser, who was not physically hurt during the Tuesday-night episode, says that dropping the name of his boss may have saved his life.
"I could have been killed and I think that's what's more troubling," Houser, who says the car is registered in his mom's name, told the news outlet. "If I had reached for my wallet or if I had moved too fast."
The incident began after Houser, who was dressed in a suit, parked his Ford Fusion about 9:45 p.m. in front of a sandwich shop, not far from Cleveland State University, where he's a graduate student. After debating whether to order fast food or cook at home, he decided to return to his apartment in Brooklyn, a suburb southwest of Cleveland with a population that is 83 percent white, the report says.
While at a stop sign, he was suddenly surrounded by multiple Brooklyn police cars, the report says.
"Five officers—all white—got out of their cars with their guns drawn," the report says. "They ordered him to put his hands up and get out. Houser got out of the car.
"The officers told him to walk backward," the report continues. "They handcuffed him and ordered him to his knees."
He was allowed to stand as the officers ran the plate through the system. They let him go after about 15 minutes, saying that Cleveland police had put in the wrong vehicle identification number for the car, the report says.
Brooklyn Police Chief Scott Mielke told the news outlet in an email that his officers followed protocol.
Watch Houser recount the story here:
Read more at Cleveland.com.