A black OR lawmaker says one of her constituents in the Portland area called the police on her as she was canvassing the neighborhood alone on Tuesday.
Janelle Bynum, a Democratic state representative, wrote on Facebook that the police responded to a call that someone reported her for visiting multiple houses in the town of Clackamas on Tuesday.
"I don't believe this", she recalled thinking to herself when she noticed a Clackamas County deputy patrol vehicle pull up on her.
"It was just freaky", Bynum told local publication, The Oregonian. "For no apparent reason (she's) walking from house to house, and she's not in any business or have any badge or anything", the caller told dispatch.
Bynum shared with the deputy that 'when people do things like this, it can be unsafe for people like me.' Officer Campbell asked if he made her feel that way, to which she said he hadn't. Bynum would knock on doors, talk to anyone inside and type something on her cellphone afterward whether someone was home or not, the caller said.
She called it "just freakish".
Representing House District 51, Bynum represents areas in east Portland, Gresham, Boring, North Clackamas, Damascus and Happy Valley. She said she only had campaign flyers, her cellphone and a pen on her at the time.
"It was just freakish. she stated, '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". Last week, police in Cleveland received a 911 call about a 12-year-old African-American boy mowing a lawn.
Bynum asked the officer who responded to the call if she could meet the woman who made it, but she wasn't home.
"The officer called her, we talked and she did apologize", Bynum said, without indicating the race of the caller. Or in Bynum's case, for doing her job. And for a pair of young black men in Philadelphia, it was sitting inside a Starbucks waiting for a person they were supposed to meet.
Bynum said she understood the woman's concerns but felt the woman could have tried talking to her first or contacting a neighbor to speak to her rather than calling the cops.