Two Native American brothers from the Mohawk tribe, Thomas Kanewakeron Gray, 19, and his younger brother Lloyd Skanahwati Gray, 17, were pulled from a campus tour at Colorado State University this past Monday after an “overcautious” parent on the tour called 911, concerned they looked suspicious, in an outrageous incident of metalhead profiling.
The two boys, who were wearing Cattle Decapitation and Archspire tees, had saved up their money to make the seven-hour drive to the campus tour for prospective students only to be taken aside, patted down and questioned by police.
Thomas Kanewakeron Gray said police stopped him and his brother while the tour group was inside a gymnasium. He described the officers’ questioning as aggressive.
The video footage streaming below shows the brothers walking in a group and down a set of stairs when an officer approaches them and directs them to step aside, saying he and another officer are going to check the teens’ pockets.
The younger of the two brothers has his hands in his pockets, and police officers ask them to take them out.
At first, the officer visible in the video asks the Grays short, focused questions, including whether the brothers were part of the tour group and why they didn’t “cooperate” when others asked them their names.
“The reason we stopped you and talked to you is because someone from the group called and said you guys just kind of came into the group,” the officer said. “They also said they tried to ask you guys questions and you didn’t want to answer questions.”
The older teen quickly responds, explaining that they had arrived late for the tour and that his younger brother is shy. The younger teen offers to retrieve the email confirming their reservations on the tour.
“Yeah, yeah, do that, and then we’ll get you out of here,” the officer shown in the video said.
The “concerned” parent who called the police, reported that the two boys’ quiet behavior and clothing stood out. She said they were “definitely not” a part of the tour, described their behavior as “odd” and said they were wearing “dark stuff.”
The woman also repeatedly told the dispatcher that her concern could be “completely paranoid” and apologized “if it’s nothing.”
“I think it’s pretty discriminatory,” said Thomas Kanewakeron Gray, the older brother, is currently a student at Northern New Mexico College in Espanola and hoped to transfer. “Me and my brother just stayed to ourselves the whole time. I guess that was scaring people – that we were just quiet.”
The university’s president, Dr. Tony Frank, issued a lengthy statement on that matter, stating:
“Two young men, through no fault of their own, wound up frightened and humiliated because another campus visitor was concerned about their clothes and overall demeanor, which appears to have simply been shyness. The very idea that someone — anyone — might ‘look’ like they don’t belong on a C.S.U. admissions tour is anathema.”
Dr. Frank said efforts to contact the Gray family to make right have so far been not successful, and that the university would be reviewing its policies for how they manage campus tours.
Cattle Decapitation responded to the incident yesterday on Facebook by promising the brothers free admission to their shows for life.
You can watch one of the officers’ body-cam footage of the incident below. There is no audio for the first 30 seconds:
The Gray brothers play in a death metal band called Snot Goblin. Stream their latest release below: