A white woman in Portland is being called “Crosswalk Cathy” after she called city officials on a Black couple for parking too close to the pedestrian crosswalk.
Recently, couple Rashsaan Muhammad and Mattie Khan drove to Little Big Burger to get a takeout. Knowing that they would only be waiting a few minutes, the couple parked in a tight spot and their car was slightly sticking out into the street.
While they were inside waiting on their food, they noticed a white woman outside looking at their car, reported Portland Mercury.
"She looked odd, but it didn't alarm us," Muhammad told the Mercury.
After they got their food and began walking back to the car, the couple started to realize that the woman was on the phone reading off their license plate number.
"I tried to start a conversation, I asked her who she was calling and what was going on," Muhammad said. "It was clear she was talking to the police." (It was not clear, however, if she knew the couple was Black before making the call.)
That's when Khan began recording the interaction on her cell phone. In the video, the woman looks up at the camera and points at the car while saying, "You can't block the crosswalk," adding, "Look at this. You are!"
A source close to “Crosswalk Cathy” insists she was on the phone with Portland Bureau of Transportation's parking enforcement hotline.
"She didn't try to talk to us. She just called the police," Muhammad said. "Why would people spend the time just trying to make our lives harder instead of talking it out like neighbors?"
While it's very possible the caller didn't know the car was owned by an African American before calling the police, it does remind many people of the list of white people who have taken it upon themselves to call police on Black people for minor reasons.
While this may be a racial issue, Muhammad, the interaction shows a clear lack of communication that occurs as a neighborhood changes.
"New people come in and change a neighborhood and it causes these kind of stressful situations," he said. "We don't interact with each other they way we used to."
"We've watching this city change," Muhammad added. "And we can't let this keep happening to our community."
(Photo: Westend61/Getty Images)
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