As one of the constant stream of stories of police being called on black Americans who are simply taking part in recreation, volunteering their time, doing their job, or merely existing in space and time, we have news of a nosy neighbor in the Columbus, Ohio area calling police on an 12-year-old African American boy who was working his first paper route.
Mother Brandie Sharp wanted to teach her two sons the importance of hard work, so she took them out with her. She posted an account of what happened on Facebook (see below) apologizing to the Upper Arlington residents for daring to try to make a few dollars with honest work.
Brandie was stopped by police and asked:
“What are you doing here? Are you soliciting?”
She felt she had been the victim of racial profiling, but the officer was satisfied with her answers and pulled off.
She was unaware a woman in a neighboring house had called the police when her son went back up to a house to retrieve a paper that had been delivered to the wrong house.
“Caller: It looked like at first maybe they were, like delivering newspapers or something but then I noticed they were walking up to the houses with nothing in hand and one of them came back with something,” said the female voice.
“I mean, I don’t want to say that something was going on but it just, it just seemed kind of suspicious.”
Brandie wondered, “what was suspicious?”
See the post below:
First day of paper route and we are pulled over by police🚔🚔…Sad I cant even teach my son the value of working without…
Fortunately, in this case, it took just seconds for the responding police officer to determine that there was nothing at all suspicious going on. But the caller didn’t hesitate to determine otherwise.
According to a report from the local Columbus news, a new law in the Upper Arlington area requires that newspapers or similar materials must be delivered to the front porch or a mail slot.
The materials may not be dropped in the driveway, so Brandie and her sons had no recourse but to approach the houses in order to do their job.
Perhaps in this climate of heightened racial tensions and paranoia created by Trump, people should first consider that folks who may have darker skin could still appear in their neighborhoods at any time –trying to make a living in America.
See more in the video from NBC4 WCMH-TV Columbus below:
Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube