Another day, another name to add to the ever-growing list of "Black People Who Had The Cops Called On Them for Simply Existing."
On Tuesday, a woman in Oregon called the police on black Democratic state representative, Janelle Bynum, who was going door-to-door campaigning in a neighborhood she represents.
After an officer responded to the call, Bynum shared her story on Facebook, explaining that the woman who called the police was reportedly concerned at how much time she was spending "typing on her cell phone" after each house.
"Live from the mean streets of Clackamas!!! 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!" the 43-year-old wrote on Facebook alongside a smiling selfie of her and the officer and another photograph of him walking back to his patrol car.
Bynum, who represents Oregon's House District 51, serves East Portland, Damascus, Gresham, Boring, North Clackamas, and Happy Valley, was simply campaigning for re-election in November 2018. The representative asked to meet the woman who reported her to the police, and though she was unavailable, the two did end up having a positive phone conversation and the woman, whose race was not specified, apologized.
"It was just bizarre," Bynum told local publication, The Oregonian. "It boils down to people not knowing their neighbors and people having a sense of fear in their neighborhoods, which is kind of my job to help eradicate. But at the end of the day, it's important for people to feel like they can talk to each other to help minimize misunderstandings."
Bynum is simply the latest in an upsetting series of incidents where police are called on black people who are not disturbing the peace. As CNN notes, someone in Ohio recently called the police on a 12-year-old boy for mowing the wrong lawn. And the internet has been following stories of BBQ Becky, Permit Patty, and Pool Patrol Paula — three white women who unnecessarily called police on black people.
In May, Jennifer Schulte (aka BBQ Becky,) called the police on two black men she believed were grilling in a park without a permit. Alison Ettel (aka Permit Patty) recently called the police on an 8-year-old girl for selling water on a sidewalk. And 38-year-old Stephanie Sebby-Strempel (now known to the internet as "Pool Patrol Paula") — was charged with assaulting a 15-year-old black boy at a public pool.