In a case of mistaken identity, Metro Transit Police handcuffed and questioned a D.C. teacher in front of her students for a crime the students did not commit.
Brandi Byrd took 15 history students from Dunbar High School to the Holocaust Museum. After getting off a train at Mount Vernon Square on their way back to school, the students were shocked to see their teacher pushed against a wall.
“I’m like, ‘That’s a woman. Why are you being so aggressive with her?'” Carlton Green said.
Byrd couldn’t believe it either. “I’ve never been held against my will anywhere,” she said.
Metro police said they were responding to a report of an assault, and the students matched the description.
“I told him. I identified who I was,” Byrd said. “‘I’m a teacher. These are my students. We’re returning from a field trip.'”
But police held her for 20 minutes, and students recorded the incident on their cellphones.
“At no point did the gentleman who put me in handcuffs tell me why I was in handcuffs,” she said.
He only said she was being detained because of an active investigation, Byrd said.
Byrd became agitated and disorderly while police tried to figure out who the kids were, Metro officials said, but Byrd denied being any kind of threat and said police went too far by putting her in cuffs.
Police let the group go when they figured out it was not the group they wanted.
Byrd feels violated and said it still hurts where the metal handcuffs were clamped around her wrists.