Police Question Native American Teens Touring Colorado State

NM mom suspects racism after sons pulled from tour at CSU

Their mother, Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray, told KOAT the teens saved their own money to take the family's only vehicle and drive seven hours from New Mexico to Fort Collins, Colorado, to visit their dream school Monday. She indicated she believed the boys were Latinx, that they were "lying" in the responses they gave the group, and said their clothing had "weird symbolism or wording on it". "Our family is shocked and saddened over this incident of racial profiling, and disappointed that the school didn't take a more proactive stand in protecting my boys from being shamed in this hostile way". "This incident is sad and frustrating from almost every angle, particularly the experience of two students who were here to see if this was a good fit for them as an institution", school officials said.

Gray was unable to accompany her sons on the tour, which was a seven hour road trip from their home in New Mexico.

"I was nervous for them to get in our family auto and drive seven hours to a place they've never been before and find their way around and fight the Denver traffic", said Lorraine Gray, the boys' mother. But when they arrived, the tour had already begun.

Two Native American brothers discovered the dark side of visiting Colorado State University this week when a nervous mother called the cops on them, CNN reports.

However, the university says the tour guide was unaware they had stepped away and continued without them.

Once they were able to get the situation cleared up, the teens were released and allowed to rejoin their tour, but the group had moved on without them.

"It breaks my heart, because they didn't do anything to warrant that [being searched and questioned]", Gray told reporters. "They're walking on their own ancestors' land, so it breaks my heart".

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According to a letter the university released on Wednesday, the two young men seen in the body camera video had tried to join a campus tour while it was in progress on Monday. She also repeatedly told the dispatcher that her concern could be "completely paranoid" and apologized "if it's nothing".

"They are not, definitely not, a part of the tour", the 45-year-old white woman told campus security .

The boys" mother, Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray, complained on Facebook: "My two teenagers were 'patted down,' and my 17-year-old ordered to "empty his pockets, ' then immediately ordered to "keep his hands out of his pockets, ' until he was forced to ask, 'Which one do you want me to do?' All of this treatment because some 'nervous mother" didn't like how my boys looked and was unsettled by their quiet presence?"

"I think it's pretty discriminatory", her son Thomas said Thursday, The Associated Press reported. "He said he's from Mexico". The senior says she didn't realize what was happening because they were touring the student center at the time and it was really busy. And I've never called, ever, about anybody. In the body camera footage, two officers approach Thomas and Lloyd, whose faces are blurred.

"Were you guys part of the group?" one of the officers is heard asking in the video.

Numerous people commenting on Kahneratokwas Gray's posts about the incident urged the woman who initially called police to step forward so that she can deliver her own apology to the young men.

"We deeply regret the unwelcoming and concerning experience they had while guests on our campus", said a university statement. The school would like to reimburse the boys for any travel expenses, Frank said.

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