News & Politics

An Ohio Resident Called the Police on This Black 12-Year-Old While He Was Delivering Newspapers

"First day of paper route and we are pulled over by police,” his mother wrote.

Photo Credit: Brandie Sharp

Ohio police are claiming that racial profiling was not a factor in their response to a black child delivering newspapers. Brandie Sharp, the child's mom, is not buying it.

“First day of paper route and we are pulled over by police,” the mother wrote on Facebook. “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,” she said. “Totally disgusted and disturbed that this kind of behavior still exist(s).”

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“If she feels she was treated unfairly by our officer, we want to hear from her,” Upper Arlington Police Department spokesperson officer Bryan 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.”

A neighbor had called the police on the 12-year-old boy and his mom to suggest they were stealing because the child was retrieving a handful of newspapers he misdelivered on the very first day of his route.

If the police department doesn't recognize that as profiling, perhaps someone should get in touch with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department and recommend training.

Read Sharp's full account below.

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Chris Sosa is the former Senior Editor of AlterNet. His work also appears in Mic, Salon, Care2, Huffington Post and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisSosa.