Lolade Siyonbola had camped out in the student’s common room to work on papers and decided to take a nap, which was interrupted around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday by a white student, Sarah Braasch who questioned Lolade’s presence in the University of Yale’s common room.
The white student then called the campus police to report that an unauthorized person was sleeping in the university’s common room.
Several officers turned up and asked to see Lolade Siyonbola’s ID, “We need to make sure that you belong here,” a female officer demanded.
“I deserve to be here. I pay tuition like everybody else,” an annoyed Siyonbola told responding officers after they repeatedly asked her to hand over identification. “I’m not going to justify my existence here.”
It was the latest in a string of recent episodes across the country in which police have been summoned to respond to minor complaints involving people of colour.
As in many of those encounters, including the arrest of two Black men at a Philadelphia Starbuck coffee shop and the questioning of Black Airbnb guests in California, the Yale incident’s video has gone viral.