An Ohio mom is upset that her sons couldn’t even deliver newspapers in peace without the police rolling up and confronting them.
Brandie Sharp said that she and her two sons Micah and Uriah, were going from house to house to cover their newspaper route, a tried and true American tradition for many youngsters. They were just going along their way when a police officer drove up and started questioning them, according to reports from WCMH-TV.
“He was like, what are you doing here…are you soliciting? ” Sharp told NBC4. “I said, no sir I’m not soliciting, I’m delivering papers. He said, what papers? I showed him the paper. He said, Oh really, and sat there for a minute and then pulled off.”
Frustrated and disturbed Sharp took to Facebook to complain about the moment and said she feels like they were racially profiled by someone who then called the Upper Arlington police on her and her boys.
“First day of paper route and we are pulled over by police…Sad I cant even teach my son the value of working without someone whispering and looking at us out the side of their eye perhaps because we DON’T “look like a person that belongs in their neighborhood”.
Police officer pulls up and ask us questions as if we were intruding in their area. Totally disgusted and disturbed that this kind of behavior still exist.
***My apologies Upper Arlington for bringing my 12-year-old African American son into your neighborhood to deliver the paper and make a few dollars on the side…NO HARM INTENDED
I will make sure my boss changes his route.”
Her post sent shockwaves through social media and got hundreds of comments and shares in the latest account of ridiculousness that Black people have to deal with; from someone calling the cops on a boy trying to make a few bucks mowing lawns to white folks calling the cops on Black people lounging at their pools.
Someone did call the cops on the unsuspecting deliver boys.
Police department spokesman, Officer Bryan McKean said the caller reported seeing the boys go on a porch and leave it with something in their hands.
“Any time we get a call like that obviously we’re going to respond,” McKean said. “We’re going to make sure that nothing criminal was going on. If we think someone is taking things from porches, we would want our police force to follow up on that to make sure.”
Sharp admits that her sons did deliver some of the newspapers to the wrong homes, so that may explain why they had to go back and take them from the porches. Sharp says she feels more like it’s discrimination.
“I could see if we did something wrong – loud music or whatever,” Sharp said. “We did nothing wrong. Why are you talking to us like we did something, like we were throwing bombs or throwing toilet paper on someone’s tree or something. We did nothing wrong.”
McKean said he doesn’t feel like the issue had anything to do with race.
“If she feels she was treated unfairly by our officer, we want to hear from her,” McKean said. “We want to know what our officer did to make her feel that way so we can investigate that and we can find out.”
The Upper Arlington Police Department posted the following to Facebook:
‘We have seen some conversations on Facebook relative to a Police response to a report of suspicious activity that turned out to be completely benign, and wish to provide some background on what transpired. On Friday evening, UA Police responded to a report of suspicious activity concerning a vehicle and two people on foot near Barrington Elementary. The caller reported seeing one of the people approach a home empty-handed but leave holding something. The first officer to arrive quickly determined it was a team of people delivering printed advertising materials and reported back that there was no issue. For some context, UA recently enacted a law placing more stringent requirements on the delivery of printed materials, such as advertising packets, to help reduce littering. Deliveries must be made to specific locations, such as on a porch or through a mail slot in the front door. This has changed the patterns of delivery people, since they are required to walk up to each home to correctly deliver these materials. Residents are seeing this change in approach but may not be aware of the new law. If you would like more details, please call Police, at 614-583-5197 or [email protected].”