Out of Columbus, Ohio, a 12 year old black paperboy had the cops called on him for suspicious behavior. The mother of the child is outraged and decided to post the tale on social media which has now grabbed national attention. What initially happened was that the a neighbor spotted what was going on in the neighborhood and to her she thought it looked out of place so she called the police. After all the police's motto is "see something, say something", right? Well according to the mother of the boy, wrong in her case.
This was the first day for the 12 year old paperboy, whose mother and older brother were assisting him with his paper route in the neighborhood of Upper Arlington. The boy ended up putting some of the papers on the wrong lawns and realized it after the fact. He then went back to correct his mistake and distribute them properly. In doing so he had to go back onto the lawns of the houses he wrongly put papers on. It was during this process of him going onto people's lawn to retrieve the newspapers that looked suspicious to some of the neighbors who have never seen the boy before. For that reason alone, one neighbor called police because it was "out of the norm", and said "I noticed they were walking up to houses with nothing in hand and one of them came back with something. It seemed kind of suspicious."
The mother of the 12 year old is upset about the whole ordeal. When police arrived on the scene, of course she explained the situation and no legal action was taken. As mentioned the mother took her outrage to social media and local news outlets caught up with her. She expressed her thoughts saying, "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." The mother is obviously saying they were racially profiled and that it's not right. Do you think it was profiling and if so warranted profiling enough to call police?
These individuals were indeed jumping out of a car and grabbing stuff off of people's lawns. That is somewhat suspicious...it's not normal. While that's not normal and could warrant a call to the police, the question once again is, if this boy was white, would this happen? Would the police get called? Did they only get called because he is black? Take away the color of the boy's skin and let's just judge it by the action taken, this behavior while harmless, does grab people's attention if you're going lawn to lawn and you've never seen this kid. Now if this happened a couple months after he's been on the job, it would not be an issue because people would be familiar with him. I think it's the unfamiliarity of the person (regardless of race) and the fact that even though it's his first day, the neighbors don't know that. They just see strangers entering and exiting outside properties. It does look strange. It's unfortunate we profile and this young boy is being told by his mother that that's the case. It could simply be based on just the behavior but sadly the color of his skin might have played a part in the deciding factor to call or not.
You can hear the local coverage as well as the initial 911 call and the mother of the 12 year old boy's reaction, below:
What would you have done in this situation if you witnessed this? Mind your own business or call the police? After all police do push the initiative, "see something, say something".