Two Manchester University security guards have been suspended after racially profiling a first-year student outside their halls of residence.
On Saturday 14 November, footage was published online showing first-year student Zac Adan being held against a wall by security guards, as staff working at the University of Manchester’s Fallowfield hall of residences accused the student of “looking like a drug dealer”.
Zac Adan, 19, a first-year student studying French and Linguistics, was returning to his halls of residences from a local shop and was asked to present identification by security.
When asked about the incident, Mr Adan said: “I had my ID card in my hand and they tried to snatch it from me. The next thing I know I was being pinned up against the wall.”
The video footage posted online shows Mr Adan being pinned up against a wall, telling onlookers, “you see, I take this racial profiling. You didn’t go for them, you came for me”.
The first person is his family to go to university, Mr Adan described the incident as “traumatising”.
Mr Adan, whose parents came to the UK from Somali as refugees, said: “Britain has been so accepting and welcoming, I genuinely think this is one of the most accepting countries in the world and, when things like this happen, it lets the country down.”
We have spoken to the student concerned, launched a full investigation and have suspended the security officers, without prejudice, pending the results of this investigation
– Manchester University
The student has called for the university to apologise, and for direct communication to open up between Mr Adan and the Chancellor, Lemn Sissay MBE.
A spokesperson for the University of Manchester has said: “We are deeply concerned by images circulating online involving one of our students and security staff.
“We have spoken to the student concerned, launched a full investigation and have suspended the security officers, without prejudice, pending the results of this investigation.
“The safety and wellbeing of our students is always of the utmost importance to us and we take these kinds of allegations extremely seriously.”
This incident comes two days after University of Manchester students tore down fencing erected around the Fallowfield campus. Students at the university have also complained over the “extremely high rents”, claiming that there has been a lack of support during the coronavirus pandemic.