In yet another reminder of how people should stop calling 911 every time they lay eyes on a person of color doing something they either don’t agree with or just fail to understand, a woman in Oregon called the cops on an African-American woman who turned out to be her state representative.
Democrat Rep. Janelle Bynum was canvassing the community of Clackamas near Portland, going door-to-door, talking to residents and taking notes on her phone ahead of her re-election campaign, when a police car pulled up next to her.
It didn’t take long for the 43-year-old, who had almost completed her rounds, to realize what was going on.
The Clackamas county deputy reportedly asked her if she was selling something before explaining a resident had reported her for going around the neighborhood and noting down something on her phone.
Fortunately for Bynum, the incident did not take an ugly turn as the officer not only handled the situation in a professional manner but also agreed to take a selfie after the state representative explained him what she had actually been doing.
“It was just bizarre,” Bynum told The Oregonian. “It boils down to people not knowing their neighbors and people having a sense of fear in their neighborhoods, which is kind of my job to help eradicate. But at the end of the day, it's important for people to feel like they can talk to each other to help minimize misunderstandings.”
In her now-viral Facebook post, the Democrat said she asked to meet the constituent who had reported her. Although she couldn’t meet her, she said the woman apologized after the officer caller her.
“We all know that we're not in a society that is perfect and we have wounds that still need to heal, but at the end of the day, I want to know my kids can walk down the street without fear,” Bynum continued. “I hope everyone gets a good look at my face, because I'm coming to your door.”
It’s definitely not the first time a black person had cops called on them for doing something harmless. However, unlike this particular incident which ended on a somewhat happy note, instances like these can end with someone getting arrested or worse.
Banner / Thumbnail : Janelle Bynum / Facebook