Guards suspended after 'racially profiling' black Manchester student

Security guards are suspended after being accused of ‘racially profiling’ black student they ‘pinned against a wall for looking like a drug dealer’ at Manchester University

  • Zac Adan, 19, tried to enter his Fallowfield halls of residence on Saturday night
  • Footage shows him being quizzed by security guards as onlookers shout at them
  • University chiefs said they were ‘deeply concerned’ and have suspended guards 

A black Manchester University student has accused security guards of ‘racially profiling’ him after footage emerged of him being held against the wall as they demanded to see his ID. 

Zac Adan, 19, claims he was accused of ‘looking like a drug dealer’ after he tried to enter his halls of residence in the early hours of Saturday.

Video taken by an onlooker shows Mr Adan being pinned against a wall as the guards demand to see his ID card. The guards have since been suspended by university bosses.  


Zac Adan, 19, claims he was accused of ‘looking like a drug dealer’ after he tried to enter his halls of residence in the early hours of Saturday. Video taken by an onlooker shows Mr Adan being pinned against a wall as the guards demand to see his ID card

‘I’m a University of Manchester student,’ Mr Adan tells onlookers in the video. 

‘They’re trying to snatch my card out of me. You see, I take this racial profiling. You didn’t go for them, you came for me.’

Mr Adan shows the guards his ID, saying: ‘Read what it says, read what it says. Read it out loud. Is that me?’.

The footage then shows the guards walking off after looking at ID.

One guard says: ‘When you showed your card, you covered your face up – that’s all.’

Mr Adan, a French and Linguistics student, said he had been ‘traumatised’ by the incident and had been returning to his halls of residence after visiting a local shop when he was stopped by the security guards.

Mr Adan, a French and Linguistics student, said he had been ‘traumatised’ by the incident

He told the BBC: ‘There was no conversation. They just pinned me up against the wall and said I looked like a drug dealer. Why? Because I am black and wearing a hoodie?’

He added: ‘It’s disgusting, I haven’t been able to sleep. I am traumatised by the situation,’ he said.

‘My parents came from Somalia as refugees and have given up everything for me to be at this institution.

‘I am the first person in my family to go to university, so for me it’s an achievement – but when they hear about things like this happening, my parents are begging me to go back home.’

University bosses have launched an investigation into the incident, which happened outside the Oak House halls of residence on the Fallowfield campus. 

A University of Manchester spokesperson said: ‘We are deeply concerned by these images.

‘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.’

Earlier this month, the university was embroiled in further controversy when hundreds of students protested after metal barriers were put up around campus amid concerns about people breaching the Covid-19 lockdown. 

Mr Adan shows the guards his ID, saying: ‘Read what it says, read what it says. Read it out loud. Is that me?’

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