Campus Reform | UMN student claims officers racially profiled him. Police come back with the receipts.

UMN student claims officers racially profiled him. Police come back with the receipts.

A student claimed he was racially profiled during a police stop.

In response to the allegations, police released dash cam footage showing what really happened.

Nikil Badey, a University of Minnesota student made some egregious and seemingly false claims on his Instagram account about his interaction with the University of Minnesota Police Department during a late-night stroll on Feb. 1.  

After Badey was questioned by police as a potential suspect for an armed robbery that had happened minutes earlier, Badey claimed he was racially profiled and harassed by police. The allegations were made in a post on his Instagram account after the encounter. 

In his Instagram post, Badey claimed that police had “their hands on their guns as he had his hands up." He further claimed he feared for his life and that “one sudden move and I would be shot.” In the Instagram post, Badey also claimed he was harassed after asking “what did I do wrong other than the fact I was a brown man.” 

The University of Minnesota's Department of Public Safety was notified of the social media post, and subsequently released dashcam footage and the transcript of the interaction between Badey and the police, revealing a different version of the story than what Badey laid out.
According to a statement released by the University of Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the UMPD “received a robbery call at 1:36am on February 1st, 2021. 

“UMPD officers met with the victims who confirmed they were robbed by two suspects armed with guns,” the statement continued, adding that at 1:43am, Badey was stopped by two officers “who they believed possibly matched a suspect description about a block from the robbery at 1:43 am.” 

After brief questioning from officers, Badey was sent on his way, explains the statement. 

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The video corroborates this characterization of the incident 

Campus Reform asked the UMPD for a police report but was told that no report exists.

There are numerous discrepancies in Badey’s account of the interaction.  

First, the video shows that the cops believed Badey to be a White male, not a person of color, when they stopped him. Second, Badey claims, “I was able to show the officer my university ID saying that I was a university student just trying to clear my mind by taking a late night stroll but they wouldn't believe me.” 

Yet, in the video and transcript, the police officer explicitly states “I believe you.” 

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Next, Badey claims, “After multiple questions, they turned off their lights and left me along: no apology, no explanation, nothing.” Yet, once again, the video and transcript show this is not true. The police asked two questions. They offered an explanation as to why he was stopped, and explained to him that he was “good to go,” before saying “sorry about that, man” and leaving him alone. 

Furthermore, as Badey claimed in his post that it was “the most traumatic thing I have ever experienced from the people who are supposed to be there for me,” the video footage shows Badey actually asked the police for a ride home. 

“The truth is clear from the officer's dash camera video: Mr. Badey's encounter was extremely courteous and respectful," MPPOA Executive Director Brian Peters said regarding the incident, KSTP reported. “We're frustrated that an elected student leader would purposefully choose to stir further division against police on social media using false statements and fabrications. This is irresponsible and further divides the campus culture on safety and community.”

Campus Reform emailed Nikil Badey about the incident. Badey did not respond.  

The UMPD released a statement asserting that “public trust is an essential part of providing public safety services to the campus.” Moreover, they claimed that “department members also understand the need for each interaction with the public to be free of bias while also providing support, empathy and understanding to all community members.”

Dr. Wilfred Reilly is an associate professor of political science at Kentucky State University, an HBCU. He is an expert in the field of hoaxes and author of Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left is Selling a Fake Race War. He spoke with Campus Reform about this incident.  

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“This incident seems like so many that happened before where an individual exaggerated a fairly mild situation,” Reilly told Campus Reform in a phone interview. “This ties into a broader pattern surrounding these incidents which is a large percentage of hoaxes come out of the academic sector. This is remarkable because only one percent of Americans are enrolled as college or university students.” 

“It is hard not to imagine that has something to do with the hothouse environment on campus where there is a constant focus on white privilege, cultural appropriations and conflict between the great races,” Reilly added. “These types of incidents contribute to the narratives of ‘living while Black’ and ‘millions are killed’ and so on.”

“What we often see in incidents like this with college kids is that the person is released back into the academic environment with no penalty. So that allows this to happen once again with no penalties,” Reilly said. “If more than a third of the people that are making these hoaxes up are contained within that population of one percent on campus, and if we keep seeing this on the campus, we can very definitely say that this environment in the colleges right now is producing things that are coming out to the real world. This environment is producing almost half of the hate crime hoaxes and most of the protest marches.”

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Reportedly, based on the video, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA) and Law Enforcement Labor Services called for action from Badey. Among other things, it asked him to publicly apologize to the UMPD officers for his statements. 

Campus Reform contacted the media relations department at the University of Minnesota regarding the incident given the discrepancy between the video footage and the Instagram post of Badey’s account but did not receive a response in time for publication. 

“Everyone deserves to be safe, and false accusations against law enforcement only incite unnecessary fear and minimize the positive ways law enforcement helps our communities,” Law Enforcement Labor Services Executive Director Jim Mortensen said at a news conference. 

Badey has since issued a second Instagram post, offering an apology for the consequences of his post. He maintained that he was “afraid” and in “shock” during the encounter. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @CWTremo