Cops called on Black lawmaker while she campaigned
Carol Ozemhoya| OW Contributor | 7/5/2018, 3:50 p.m.
The fear of Black people is at an all-time high, it seems, and with that comes blatant racism and some busy cops. Janelle Bynum, a Black state representative in Oregon, was out campaigning door to door when one of her constituents called the police, calling her actions “suspicious,” reports USA Today. Bynum is running for reelection in November, and posted about the incident on Facebook on Tuesday June 3. “Big shout out to Officer Campbell who responded professionally to someone who said that I was going door to door and spending a lot of time typing on my cell phone after each house – aka canvassing and keeping account of what my community cares about!” she wrote. The incident happened around 5:10 p.m. Tuesday after Bynum had visited nearly 30 homes in Clackamas, Oregon, reports OregonLive.com Her reaction when she saw the deputy pull up: “I don't believe this,” the publication reports. She learned through speaking with the deputy that a woman had called police thinking Bynum was casing the neighborhood. The incident ended in an apology from the concerned resident and a selfie featuring Bynum and the responding officer — both all smiles. Bynum told OregonLive that she did not know the race of the caller or where the woman lived, but was able to speak with the person on the phone. The woman said she called police out of concern for her neighborhood. Bynum told the publication that she understood the concern, but wished the resident had spoken with her directly or through a neighbor, instead of going directly to police. “When people do things like this, it can be dangerous for people like me,” she recalled telling the responding officer. Portland, Oregon, City Council candidate Loretta Smith, who is friends with Bynum, connected Bynum's experience with a recent incident at Portland State University. In that incident, police shot and killed Jason Washington, a legally armed Black man who witnesses say was trying to break up a fight near the college campus. “This coming on the heels of the shooting of Jason Washington, I think it’s ‘here we go again’,” Smith said. “We’re wracked by these racial injustices in our backyard. I know Oregon can do better. I know Portland can do better.”