On Friday morning, the tip line at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst received an anonymous call:
“A gentleman, African American, bald, red/white pinstripe shirt, dark khakis, large duffel bag on the right shoulder, hanging off a strap, very heavy hanging on the ground, seemed very agitated, walking up the ramp, into Whitmore [a campus building]. I thought I would send that information if someone could go and check, because he seemed like a very upset young man walking into that building.”
There was, in fact, an African American man walking into Whitmore at that time. He worked there, and has worked there for 14 years. His normal morning routine is to work out and then walk, with his duffel bag, to his office. He works on disability student issues.
UMass police were dispatched to the building, located him as someone fitting the description in the call, and spent time questioning him before determining that he posed no threat. While he was being questioned, the police blocked access to the building.
The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, the student newspaper, broke the story. Reginald Andrade, the man, told the Collegian that this was a case of racial profiling. “No one else gets racially profiled in my office, just me. I’m the only black male who works in our office.”…