A Nigerian-American Mattias Ometu has been forcefully arrested by police in San Antonio, Texas while jogging. And they almost choked him to death.
His offence was that he was “jogging while black”, and he happened, in their warped imagination, to fit the image of another blackman said to be involved in a nearby domestic violence incident.
The suspect the police were looking for was Darren Anthony Smith, who does not in any way resemble Ometu, except that both are black.
Ometu, 33, spent two days in the Bexar County Jail following the illegal arrest on Tuesday.
Mathias Ometu and Darren Anthony Smith, the real suspect. Do they look alike?
In a petition to Congresswoman, Sheila Jackson-Lee, US-based Nigerian rights activist, Emmanuel Ogebe, said Ometu, an insurance professional was arbitrarily apprehended under mistaken identity.
He was “manhandled and unjustly arrested despite there being no factual basis for such action”.
The San Antonio Police Department has since acknowledged that Ometu was not the suspect its men were looking for.
This was after Ometu was charged with assault on an officer and taken into custody.
But witnesses who recorded the encounter said Ometu was not aggressive with officers.
Mayor Ron Nirenburg has now called full investigation into the incident.
The Daily Mail reporting about the arrest, said Cell phone footage shows the two San Antonio Police Department officers roughly shoving Ometu into the back of a police cruiser while he screams ‘you’re choking me’ several times.
Mattias Ometu’s arrest came in the week, that marchers for racial justice converged in Washington for the 57th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King-led march on Washington, where he gave his immortal speech, ‘I have a Dream”.