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Jul 30 2016
by Tyler Bingham

Cops Misidentify an Iowa Football Player as a Bank Robber While He Played Pokemon Go

By Tyler Bingham - Jul 30 2016

According to Huffington Post, while University of Iowa defensive lineman Faith Ekakitie was playing Pokemon Go in a park police officers mistakenly identified him as a bank robber. 

According to Ekakitie's Facebook post that detailed the interaction, police officers were going off a description that had them looking for 

a large black man in all black with something on his head. 

Ekakitie's all black outfit and goggles fit the bill for officers, so they approached him in an Iowa City Park. 

What the officers didn't know was that Ekakitie had not harmed anyone, and was in fact playing the hit augmented reality video game Pokemon Go while listening to music in his headphones. Faith was unable to hear the officers' requests for him to turn around.

In response, the police drew their weapons, and Ekakitie immediately complied.  In his post he wrote that he could have become

another statistic on this day.

And that's very true, it really is a good thing that the officers were properly trained to handle that situation, or as we've seen countless other times a how that situation could have gone down very differently. 

Ekakitie was very gracious in how he responded to the situation, even going as far as thanking the officers outright.

 Not all police officers are out to get you, but at the same time, not all people who fit a criminal profile are criminals.
So with that, I would like the thank the Iowa City Police department for handling a sensitive situation very professionally. I would also urge people to be more aware of their surroundings because clearly I wasn’t. Lastly, I would urge us all to at least to attempt to unlearn some of the prejudices that we have learned about each other and now plague our minds and our society. I am convinced that in the same way that we learned these prejudices, we can also unlearn them.   

It is fantastic that this situation did not escalate beyond the police drawing weapons, and both the police officers and Ekakitie should be applauded for their professional responses to the encounter.

Lead Image Credit: Rob Howe/Hawkeye Nation via Twitter

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Tyler Bingham - Niagara University

Tyler Bingham, a freshman at Niagara University, plans on double majoring in English and Political Science. Aside from waiting in line at Starbucks, hanging out with friends and reading is how he spends most of his time. Instagram: thetylerbingham

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