Even today, racial discrimination is still something many Americans face daily. On May 8, a caucasian Yale University student named Sarah Braasch called the police after seeing an African-American student sleeping her dorm’s common room. Below are some facts about Sarah Braasch and what exactly happened.
Sarah Braasch is a student at Yale University and called the cops on a black student named Lolade Siyonbola, who was taking a nap in her dorm’s common room.
Siyonbola posted two Facebook Live videos, which then went viral. In the first one, she has a conversation with Braasch asking her why she felt the need to phone the police. In the second, Siyonbola speaks to officers, as they ask her for proof that she is a student there.
Part 1 – Sarah Braasch, Philosophy PhD student, called the cops on my friend a few months ago for getting lost in my building. Today she messed—again—with the wrong one.
Posted by Lolade Siyonbola on Monday, May 7, 2018
Many people have condemned the incident, and even more left supportive messages for Siyonbola. But who is the woman who called the police on her?
Who Is Sarah Braasch?
Braasch is a 43-year-old Ph.D student studying philosophy. According to Yale University’s website, she is set to graduate in 2020.
She completed two engineering degrees, aerospace and mechanical, from the University of Minnesota. In 2009, Braasch graduated from Fordham Law School. She then worked for feminist movement, Ni Putes Ni Soumises (which translates to “Neither Whores Nor Submissive”) in France. She obtained her Master’s in philosophy at San Francisco State, and is a member of the New York State Bar.
According to her Department of Philosophy bio, “Sarah is interested in applying game theory and cognitive science to the philosophical foundations of law, including international law. This endeavor encompasses her interests in practical reasoning and social ontology, as well as perceptual and social cognition, including language acquisition.”
Born in Minnesota, Braasch also lived in Wisconsin. She reportedly grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness, but once wrote in an article for The Humanist that she changed her religious beliefs.
Braasch added that, because of religion, she has been estranged from her mother for over 20 years.
Sarah Braasch’s Justification
Siyonbola’s first Facebook Live video was posted on May 8, at 1:40 a.m. In it, it was revealed that Braasch called the cops saying that she is a student at Yale, and an unknown woman was sleeping in theHall of Graduate Studies’ common room on the 12th floor.
According to reports, Braasch said that she didn’t know who the sleeping person was. In the first video, she looks to be standing in the doorway of her dorm, holding a cellphone and snapping photos of Siyonbola.
Whether she was taking a video or pictures is unknown, but Braash is heard saying, “I have every right to call the police, you cannot sleep in that room.”
Officers responded to the scene at 1:45 a.m., and met with Braasch who showed them her ID. After authorities spoke to Siyonbola, they spoke to Braasch again for another seven minutes.
Not the First Time
According to Siyonbola, this is not the first time Braasch contacted police after coming in contact with an African-American student.
In February, Siyonbola invited a group of graduate students to her dorm for a meeting in the common room. Her friend, Jean-Louis Reneson (an African-American grad student) revealed that he was lost when he arrived to the building. After asking Braasch for directions, Reneson was “physically blocked” from entering the common room.
Braasch did not believe that Reneson was a student, and reportedly accused him of being an intruder. He claimed that she verbally assaulted him, saying that he didn’t belong there and was making her uncomfortable.
After Siyonbola’s videos went viral, Braasch deleted her Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. She was also removed from The Humanist’s website.
Strong Advocate for Burqa Bans
Braasch reportedly advocated for burqa bans around the world. While in France, she participated in multiple protests about the band, while wearing a burqa outside the National Assembly.