Woman calls cops on black boy delivering newspapers in Ohio neighborhood

A fledgling paperboy working alongside his mother in suburban Columbus, Ohio, came face-to-face with a cop after a neighbor thought he was up to no good.

The nosy neighbor spied the 12-year-old boy, who is black, hop out of a van and walk up to a handful of Upper Arlington homes Friday. She initially assumed he was delivering newspapers, she told authorities, but soon thought otherwise.

"I noticed they were walking up to houses with nothing-in-hand and one of them came back with something," the 911 caller said, according to WSYX-TV. “It seemed kind of suspicious.”

The mother explained to the officer dispatched to check on her youngest son, Uriah Sharp, delivered his papers to the wrong home and was picking them up. The officer “quickly determined” that’s exactly what the Sharps were doing, according to police.

Recent incidents of police being called on people of color
See Gallery
Recent incidents of police being called on people of color
Woman resigns as CEO of company after backlash from calling police on girl selling water https://t.co/Ut5OngfuTp https://t.co/D6SgtSBQTd
Adam Bloom, the Winston-Salem man who was caught on camera confronting a black woman about using her community pool… https://t.co/UbPQqtBAwl
A black family's Sunday barbecue was interrupted after a woman called out their charcoal grill and phoned the cops… https://t.co/4g6IK4s1ci
The Yale University police officers who were called to investigate a napping black graduate student ultimately admo… https://t.co/N1XCJAzGPg
A South Carolina woman has been nicknamed Pool Patrol Paula after a widely shared video showed her accosting a blac… https://t.co/RW5BDuIJxl
GOLFERS CALL 911: Authorities have released 911 calls from management at a Dover Township, Pennsylvania, golf cours… https://t.co/kJv0M2dMI4
#CouponCarl - white CVS manager calls police on black customer over coupon, sparking social media outrage, accusati… https://t.co/CZc06JKJs7
Va. man calls police after foul in basketball game https://t.co/fNFylvGhid https://t.co/JpfJKCECFG

In a Facebook post, Uriah's mother, Brandie Sharp, said she was teaching her sons how to work.

"First day of paper route and we are pulled over by the police," Sharp 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.'"

She said she would change their paper route to avoid the neighborhood.

Over the weekend, the police department issued a statement explaining the response in an attempt to squash worries of racial bias.

“We have seen some conversations on Facebook relative to a Police response to a report of suspicious activity that turned out to be completely benign,” officials wrote.

The Sharp’s encounter with police is no isolated incident A number of cases of white people calling the cops on people of color for mundane activities have made headlines of late. Most recently, police have confronted Bob Marley's granddaughter for staying at a Rialto, Calif., Airbnb, a Yale student taking a nap at her student lounge and three black women golfing in Pennsylvania.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.