The Clayton Police Department has issued an apology after its police officers falsely accused 10 Washington University students of not paying for their meal at an IHOP restaurant the night of July 7, reports CBS St. Louis affiliate KMOV-TV. The black incoming freshmen had just left the eatery when they were stopped by police, school officials confirmed.
Clayton police officers then made the students walk back to the restaurant, despite being shown some receipts proving the students had paid for the meals. After officers escorted the students back to the IHOP, the manager said the students weren’t the suspects. The manager had contacted police to report that a $60 tab wasn’t paid by a group of black customers. That’s the procedure called for by IHOP policy.
A short time later, police spotted the group of teens. Police say they were stopped because they were the only ones nearby with IHOP bags in hand and were black. The 10, who were on campus as part of a summer program, told KMOV-TV they felt that they’d been racially profiled.
Were they? “”I don’t know how you can take that into account,” Clayton Police Chief Kevin Murphy told KMOV-TV.
The school issued a statement expressing disappointment over the false accusations.
“The fact that these students, all of whom are African American, were scared and humiliated is unacceptable to us,” Washington University said in the statement. “We have shared the sentiment with the City of Clayton and have had an opportunity to meet with city leaders to reiterate our concerns.”
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