A Maryland man who was arrested after helping an intoxicated neighbor find his way home believes that he was “without a doubt” the victim of racial profiling by police.
Samir Ahmed, 23, told HuffPost that he was confronted by officers from the Montgomery County Police Department after they received a call about an intoxicated man who needed medical attention.
An 18-minute video of the incident, which has since gone viral, shows Ahmed being pinned down onto his sister’s car by police, who are repeatedly told by onlookers “that he was helping the person who was under the influence.”
“I explained that I brought the drunk man home, and she [the female officer] began to become infuriated when I wouldn’t tell her his exact address,” Ahmed said.
During the altercation, the officers repeatedly questioned Ahmed about whether he was in possession of marijuana before accusing him of being intoxicated.
After conducting a search, officers found marijuana but, according to Ahmed, it “was such a small amount that I didn’t even know I had it.”
The 23-year-old, who is the son of Ethiopian immigrants, doesn’t deny having marijuana but believes “without a doubt” that “race played a factor” in his arrest.
“Because I know if I was blond with blue eyes it wouldn’t have mattered,” he said.
Ahmed has said that he was aware of three neighbors who had filed a complaint against the police department since the incident, adding that “the whole neighborhood saw it, basically.”
The video has also caught the attention of actor D.L. Hughley, who shared it on Instagram.
The Montgomery County Police Department did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.