David Parker and Dana Mango, a white couple who live in Marietta, Georgia, are still at a loss for words after they received a puzzling call from police asking if their Black male babysitter had a right to watch their two kids.
“It truly took me several minutes to believe that it was real. I was just in a state of disbelief,” Mango said about the call.
The couple had entrusted their longtime friend Corey Lewis with watching their two kids for the last two years, ABC News reports. But Lewis, a Black man who runs an afterschool mentoring program in Marietta, Georgia, couldn’t eat dinner in peace at a local Subway and was confronted by a suspicious white woman who thought he was kidnapping two white kids.
The nosey woman confronted Lewis and asked about the kids and then followed him back to his home where he was met by police after the woman called the cops on the man who was just babysitting while being Black.
The parents told “Good Morning America” on Wednesday about receiving the shocking phone call from police who called them to verify if Lewis was in face in charge of their children.
“We were at dinner, and I saw that Mr. Lewis had called,” Mango said. “I called back and a police officer answered the phone. The police officer was trying to explain that he was there with my kids and that they were OK, but he wanted to confirm that I had given permission to Mr. Lewis to be with them.”
Mango said her kids — Addison and Nicholas — were frightened that Lewis might not get to babysit them anymore.
“After this ordeal on Sunday night the first thing the kids asked was, ‘When can he come babysit us again,'” Mango said.
“They said they were scared that they would say the wrong thing and cause him to get arrested,” Mango said, adding that her children love Lewis like a member of the family.”
Babysitting While Black
Lewis was eating at a Walmart Subway restaurant with two white children and targeted by a white woman who then followed him to a local gas station where she poked her nose in his business and asked to speak to the kids, reports WSBRadio.
Then the woman followed Lewis back to his home where police rolled up and started asking Lewis questions.
Given that so many living while Black scenarios have popped up where people of color have had the cops called on them for virtually nothing, Lewis pulled out his cell and started a Facebook Livestream on Sunday.
“All because I’m Black and have two white kids with me,” Lewis said on Facebook.
Lewis appeared on GMA with the parents and said the woman told him:
“Things look weird,’ and then she drove off,” Lewis said. Once the officer spoke to the parents and realized this was just a case of racism, “The officer was actually apologetic,” Mango told “GMA”. “I think he was embarrassed. He saw what was happening pretty quickly, and after he spoke to me and confirmed that everything was all right, he let them go.”