Police were called on a 12-year-old black boy on his first day on the job as a paperboy in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio after a neighbor thought his behavior was suspicious. "It looked like at first they were delivering newspapers or something, but I noticed they were walking up to the houses with nothing in hand and one of them came back with something," the 911 caller said, according to WABC TV. "It seemed kind of suspicious."
Uriah Sharp had mistakenly delivered to the wrong home and went to retrieve his papers, his mother, Brandie, explained in a Facebook post, per the New York Daily News. "First day of paper route and we are pulled over by the police," she wrote. "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.’”
Brandie had taken Uriah and her other son, Mycah, 17, to deliver the Columbus Dispatch’s ad package, also known as "The Bag," in an attempt to “teach them how to work, how to be production, and how to stay busy," per WABC TV.
“What was suspicious at 5:30 in the evening? What was this big reasoning that you had to call the police?” she told the news outlet.
Bryan McKean, a police officer with the Upper Arlington Police, told WABC TV that “when our officer arrived on [the] scene, he very quickly determined that these individuals were delivering the newspaper.”
This is only the latest instance of a white person calling the cops on innocent black people for doing normal things or doing their jobs. There’s the infamous #BBQBecky and #PermitPatty, who called the cops on a black man barbecuing and an 8-year-old black child selling bottles of water, respectively, but this summer has been filled with other examples. There’s the story of the Starbucks worker who called the police minutes after two black men entered the coffee shop, firefighter who was literally doing his job, the black family questioned by a white man for attending a community pool, the movie theatre manager who called the police on black parents who were trying to pick up their children and so much more.