Pokemon Go Player Describes Police Pointing Guns at His Face; Video Says Otherwise

Faith Ekakitie detained while playing Pokemon Go

Faith Ekakitie detained while playing Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go Player, Faith Ekakitie, Describes Police Pointing Guns at His Face; Video Says Otherwise

Faith Ekakitie is a black University of Iowa football player. He made a Facebook post on July 20th describing an incident where he was out playing Pokemon Go in a local park. While walking around, Ekakitie was detained by Iowa City Police because he matched the description of a robbery suspect. Ekakitie later went on to explain the officer’s reasoning behind the encounter. His post illustrated the point that when people are contacted by law enforcement, they don’t know what the police are dealing with.

Overall, Faith Ekakitie’s post was respectful to law enforcement and talks about how the media distorts the trust for sensationalism.

There was, however, a part of Ekakitie’s story that doesn’t seem to match with body camera footage.

Ekakitie’s post states:

Today I was surrounded and searched by approximately five Iowa City Police Officers. 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. 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. This is what happened from my point of view.

Here’s the video of the incident:

Faith Ekakitie’s account of events paints the picture of police taking down a felony suspect at gunpoint. The polite detention what Ekakitie encountered seems much less extreme. Ekakitie said that he had four gun barrels staring him in the face, but only one officer had his gun out at any point; it did not appear that the officer pointed it at Akakitie.

It’s not clear why Faith Ekakitie’s account of events doesn’t match the video. Ekakite was not harshly critical of the police officers, so it’s unlikely that he intentionally lied; he may just be over-exaggerating the circumstances. It’s also possible that he was so afraid, that the stress affected his memory of the incident. It’s common for people in high-stress situations to have trouble recalling events clearly.

We think that Faith Ekakitie’s post is worth a read, and makes good points about the difference in perspective; when you add the video of the incident, it really adds a third perspective. It shows that at the time these incidents occur, people rarely know the full story, and after the event is over, the story that people tell of these events may not be entirely accurate.