However, Christin Evans was fast asleep in her supposed safe bed at 3 a.m. that night on September 14 at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas.
She was sleeping, until the military-equipped and fully armed SWAT team startled the teen cheerleader awake with their guns drawn and shining flashlights pointed at her.
Evans’ three roommates and seven other people had apparently performed a disgusting prank. A prank that Evans’ parents say was racially motivated. Evans is a Black woman, and at least three of the alleged suspects are white. However, 10 people were involved in launching the prank and only three of them were white.
Campus police almost immediately determined that Evans wasn’t a threat, her parents said. The teen’s parents say the false police report was a hate crime.
“I feel shaken,” THE TEEN TOLD KPRC-TV at a press conference on Monday. “I don’t even know how to think. I can’t sleep at night because of this. It has made me really paranoid.”
The family of Christin Evans said police stormed into her dorm room with guns drawn over a false report. https://t.co/uAJUKBdOhz
— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) September 29, 2020
The university is expected to launch an investigation into the incident and has vowed to do so. Numerous people have made a call to expel the students who were involved and noted that if Evans had made one groggy move she could’ve been killed.
“Kids sleep with their phones in their bed,” LaShondra Evans, Christin’s mother said at the news conference, The Washington Post reported. “What if they saw her phone flash or the back of her phone is shiny … and they had reported she had a knife. They could’ve shot her.”
“She could have been shot and killed just like Breonna Taylor,” Randall Kallinen, attorney for the Evans family told the Houston Chronicle. “It’s horrible. The complaint was that she was stabbing people and threatening people with scissors.”
“It’s horrible. She’s depressed, she’s frightened. She’s hearing noises outside her room,” attorney Kallinen said. “She’s having a lot of trouble sleeping. It’s affecting her school. Why would ten fellow students decide to send the police over on her?”
There was public outcry over the incident, then the university released statements. Evans has since been moved to a different dorm.
“The university is investigating a racially diverse group of students in an incident involving a false report to the University Police Department,” campus police chief John Fields according to a statement on Monday. “The students responsible will be held accountable for their actions at every possible level.”
University president Scott Gordon echoed the public outcry and said that filing a false report is in violation of the school’s code of conduct and potentially the law. Gordon called for patience while the incident is under investigation.
“The investigation and judicial processes take time. I want to urge everyone to withhold judgment until the conclusion of our investigation and process,” Gordon’s statement in a tweet from the university reads.
Gordon also expressed his sympathy for the Evans family and said “My heart goes out to the young lady who was an innocent victim in this matter. We will do all we can to support her and her family through the heinous ordeal.”
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.