A University of Iowa football player says he was playing "Pokemon Go" in a public park when he was mistaken for a suspected bank robber, surrounded by police and searched at gunpoint.
Defensive lineman Faith Ekakitie wrote on Facebook that he feared for his life Wednesday in Iowa City. He explains that a bank had been robbed nearby and that he matched the suspect's description of a "large black male, wearing all black, with something on top of his head." He says he was wearing goggles on his head at the time.
"My pockets were checked, my backpack was opened up and searched carefully, and I was asked to lift up my shirt while they searched my waistband," Ekakitie wrote. "Not once did they identify themselves to me as Iowa City Police officers, but with four gun barrels staring me in the face, I wouldn’t dare question the authority of the men and woman in front of me.
"I am not one to usually rant on Facebook or anywhere else, but with all of the crazy things that have been happening in our world these past couple of weeks it is hard to stay silent. I am thankful to be alive, and I do now realize, that it very well could have been me, a friend of mine, my brother, your cousin, your nephew etc. Misunderstandings happen all the time and just like that things can go south very quickly."
Ekakitie said he understands why police did what they did. He said he had headphones in and didn't respond to police commands. He thanked Iowa City police for their professionalism.
"It is extremely sad that our society has brainwashed us all to the point where we can’t feel safe being approached by the police officers in our respective communities," he wrote. "Not all police officers are out to get you, but at the same time, not all people who fit a criminal profile are criminals."
A police spokesman chalked up the episode to "unfortunate timing."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.