White Lady Calls Cops On Black Congresswoman Canvassing Neighborhood For Support

View of street in residential neighborhood on sunny afternoon

White Lady Calls Cops On Black Congresswoman Canvassing Neighborhood For Support

Rep. Janelle Bynum was accused of "casing" the neighborhood.

Published 2 weeks ago

It doesn’t matter if you’re a wandering child or a high-ranking politician: if you’re Black, be prepared for harassment at any point.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a wandering child or a high-ranking politician: if you’re Black, be prepared for harassment at any point.

Case in point, a Black Oregon state representative, who was out canvassing a neighborhood of her own constituents, had the police called on her by a white woman.

Rep. Janelle Bynum, a Democrat running for a second term in the Oregon state House of Representatives this fall, was knocking on doors and chatting to area residents for a few hours in Clackamas when a deputy pulled up on her.

Oregon Live reports that while Bynum was taking notes on her phone from a conversation she had with someone at her last stop when a deputy asked if she was selling something. She subsequently introduced herself and was told that someone had called and reported her because the caller claimed Bynum was spending too much time “casing” the neighborhood.

Bynum also reportedly had flyers with her, so it’s not a mystery what she was doing. It’s also pretty plain as day as to why the cops were called on her in the first place.

“It was just bizarre,” she told OregonLive. “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 did manage to get the deputy to call the woman so she could speak to her. The woman apologized explaining that she called 911 for the safety of the neighborhood. The woman didn’t confirm where she lived.

“We all know that we’re not in a society that is perfect, and we have wounds that still need to heal, but at the end of the day, I want to know my kids can walk down the street without fear,” Bynum said. “I hope everyone gets a good look at my face, because I’m coming to your door.”

*Facepalm.* At least Janelle Bynum has a good sense of humor to defuse what happened. And the deputy actually did his job.

Written by Paul Meara

Photo: Thomas Barwick

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