An 11-year-old Ohio paperboy was stopped and questioned by the police last week in what seems to be yet another example of scared white people calling the cops on black people for doing absolutely nothing wrong, ABC 6 reports.
Last Friday afternoon, preteen Uriah Sharp was working the first day of his new paper route in the Columbus neighborhood of Upper Arlington with his mom, Brandie, and his 17-year-old brother. At one point, Uriah got a little mixed up about the brand-new route and accidentally delivered a few papers to the wrong houses.
That's a pretty innocuous mistake—understandable for an 11-year-old kid working the first day of his first job—and neither he nor his mom thought much of it. Sharp just ran back to grab the papers he'd taken to the wrong addresses and redeliver them to the right ones. Unfortunately, a woman in the neighborhood apparently thought that Sharp was acting "suspicious." So instead of doing the normal, neighborly thing of just, you know, going outside to chat with Uriah and his mom to see what was up, the lady dialed 911.
"It looked like at first they were delivering newspapers or something," the woman told police dispatch during the call, "but I noticed they were walking up to the houses with nothing in hand and one of them came back with something. I mean, I don't want to say something was going on, but it just seemed kind of suspicious."
A cop showed up and questioned the family about what they were doing. It didn't take long for the officer to realize a young kid and his mom were just delivering papers, but Brandie and Uriah were both shaken up by the whole incident.
"Police officer pulls up and asks us questions as if we were intruding in their area," Brandie Sharp wrote afterward in a Facebook post. "Totally disgusted and disturbed that this kind of behavior still exist… My apologies Upper Arlington for bringing my [11-year-old] African American son into your neighborhood to deliver the paper and make a few dollars on the side…NO HARM INTENDED."
Uriah told ABC 6 he plans to keep working the job and delivering papers, but that he feels a little "uncomfortable" after the run-in with the cops.
"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 wrote.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.
Follow VICE on Twitter.