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Neighbor Calls Cops on 11-Year-Old Black Boy With a Paper Route

A boy delivering newspapers with his mom and brother aroused the suspicion of a local resident, even though he hadn’t done anything wrong.

An Ohio mom and her two sons had their paper route interrupted last week when a police car pulled them over.

It seemed curious that police would be interested in the family, as they hadn't done anything to warrant the attention of authorities. But as it turns out, someone had called the cops on Brandie Sharp's 11-year-old son, Uriah.

The caller grew suspicious after seeing Uriah walk up to a house in Upper Arlington, Ohio, and come back with something in his hand. "It looked like at first they were delivering newspapers or something, but I noticed they were walking up to the houses with nothing in hand and one of them came back with something," the caller told police, according to WSYX, "I mean, I don't want to say something was going on, but it just seemed kind of suspicious."

Uriah, though, had a completely reasonable explanation. He, his mom, and his 17-year-old brother Mycah had delivered some of the newspapers to the wrong homes, and he was retrieving them. Sharp tells WCMH that after a police officer pulled her over and asked if they were soliciting, she explained they were on a paper route and the situation was quickly resolved.

But Sharp wasn't pleased someone had felt the need to call the police in the first place, and she thinks her son's race played a factor. "Sad I cant [sic] 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,'" she wrote in a Facebook post.

She was also left wondering what was so suspicious about a family delivering newspapers in broad daylight. "Something as simple as delivering papers and it turns out to be I have to be racially profiled?" she tells WSYX.

Arlington Police said on Facebook that the officer simply responded to a report of suspicious behavior, then "quickly determined" nothing nefarious was going on. Police also noted that a new law in Upper Arlington requires people delivering newspapers "to walk up to each home to correctly deliver these materials."

This case is just the latest in a string of "Summer of Snitches" incidents involving authorities being called either to enforce petty regulations or for no reason at all. Just last week, for example, police were summoned to deal with a black man wearing socks at a pool. The white apartment complex manager who called police has since been fired.

Photo Credit: Bmai Love/Facebook

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  • Ken Shultz||

    Thanks for bringing this nothing of a story to my attention, I guess.

  • Rhywun||

    Aren't you outraged! that white people are constantly calling the cops on boys of color? Don't tell me you think the media (this outlet included) are ginning up instances of this to elicit a particular emotion... I mean, that's crazy talk.

  • ||

    Thanks for bringing this nothing of a story to my attention, I guess.

    Yup. Delivered papers on a rural route for years. Pulling off the road at 2 a.m., sometimes off the left-hand side, doing U-turns, crisscrossing the same state road back and forth... I welcomed more than a few new officers to the various county and local PDs.

  • Aloysious||

    Ken, maybe there has been a change of policy about hyper local stories.

  • Scotticus Finch||

    Seriously. WTF is this? And the kid was walking up to houses where there was a thing, and walking away with that thing in his hands. I guess it would be better had the lady walked out and asked them what they were doing, but based on the comments reported here, the mother's reaction would have been the same.

    Sounds like this played out without harm to anyone.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    +1, Scoutticus Finch.

  • Longtobefree||

    "See something, say something"
    What could possibly go wrong?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Exactly

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    It was the D.A.R.E. shirt that threw them off. What normal kid these days wears those unironically?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    A black newspaper boy you say? Someone needs to be awokened.

  • Citizen X||

    Just last week, for example, police were summoned to deal with a black man wearing socks at a pool. The white apartment complex manager who called police has since been fired.

    Poor guy meant to call the fashion police but he missed a digit.

  • Juice||

    police were summoned to deal with a black man wearing socks at a pool

    And he was summarily executed, right?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    They're lucky they weren't mistaken for the ghost of Christopher Dorner.

  • ||

    The way they ventilated several neighborhoods in pursuit of him, you'd think everyone the cops shoot at is a ghost.

  • Brian||

    There may be some perfectly legal-to-suggest, valid reason for these diligent citizen callers to have a no knock warrant served on them. Just so they know what to be really scared of.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    In some urban residential neighborhoods, people will ask a stranger for directions to see if he's enough of a native son to know where places are. If he's not ... well, they don't call the cops in those neighborhoods. They call a cousin.

  • John||

    These are the wages of making everyone terrified of talking to strange children. In a civilized world, the adults in the neighborhood would have gone out and asked the kid what he was doing and if he was okay. In our insane world, doing that would have made them liable to be called child molesters and predators. So, they called the cops. It is a sad and pathetic state that we are in.

  • Tony||

    It's not like this country has any history of distrust of black boys. Must be that you're the true victim here.

  • ||

    Especially 11 year-olds. They're the worst.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Putting down the digital umbilicus and building social capital by getting to know the people in your community is hardly an example of white privilege.

  • Citizen X||

    But every time Tony's neighbors get to know him, they decide they're better off moving.

  • gimmedatribeye||

    He never suggested he's the victim

  • Tony||

    I'll decide what John suggests.

  • Brendan||

    In a civilized world, the adults in the neighborhood would have gone out and asked the kid what he was doing and if he was okay

    At which point, we'd have a cell phone video with a clickbaity title like "Racist harasses us for being black" followed by demands that the person be fired, evicted, tarred, feathered, and desiccated.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I might tune into Fat Rush and get his take on this. No doubt the black kid is a menace to society.

  • Longtobefree||

    Damn right.
    The article makes it quite clear that he is training to become an independent businessman, and that cannot be allowed.
    He must become a dependent of the government welfare state, as dictated by the socialists because of his race.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    No, Fat Rush does not see values like that. He just knows black = menace and white = innocent.

    Like "liberal woman = slut".

    See?

  • Brian||

    Your fascination with Rush Limbaugh is... interesting.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I'm surprised he didn't bring Fox News into it too.

  • Juice||

    Fat Rush

    Did you go to the Trump school of nicknames?

  • Careless||

    She named her son Uriah? As in sounds like urea?

  • Shirley Knott||

    Philistine.
    Uriah Heep.

  • Citizen X||

    It's biblical, yo.

  • Longtobefree||

    As in the Hebrew, "Flame of God".
    As in the Hittite husband of Bathsheba.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Mayne Urethra was already taken?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Uriah is a pretty normal, if relatively unusual name.

  • Cathy L||

    Do you know what "normal" means?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Anything that you're not.

  • Cathy L||

    You know only an insecure conformist would be insulted by that comeback, right?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    You know only an insecure conformist would be insulted by that comeback, right?

    Magnificent circular reasoning on your part there.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    If you've never heard the name Uriah before, you really need to get out more, son.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Is that like the black woman who named her daughter 'placenta'?

  • Azathoth!!||

    In white neighborhoods, people call the police when they see something odd.

    In black neighborhoods, snitches get stitches.

    In white neighborhoods there isn't a lot of crime.

    In black neighborhoods there IS a lot of crime.

    Because there isn't a lot of crime in white neighborhoods police aren't always hanging around bothering people.

    Because there IS a lot of crime in white neighborhoods police ARE always hanging around bothering people.

    Huh. It's almost like there's some kinda cause and effect thing going on.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Right, The crime rate in black neighborhoods has absolutely nothing to do with socioeconomic conditions whatsoever. Nope, if only the darkies would get with the program, learn to love Big Brother, and learn to appreciate the virtues of being busy-body snitches their neighborhoods would be much better places to live. I think you've hit the nail on the head.

  • swain||

    As long as people like you continue to make unfalsifiable excuses things will never change.

    You and your ilk have been vomiting the same stupid "not their fault" rhetoric for a couple generations now. How's that working for you?

  • Michael S. Langston||

    I think his point was don't be a racist asshole. Historically, those on the fringes making up the underclass, were also most of the criminals in that time frame. See Irish, Italians, etc, etc. See also regional affects, the rural poor criminal element is mostly white.

    So poverty isn't an excuse, but people not knowing where their next meal may come from are more easily manipulated, as you would likely be if born/raised in similar circumstances.

    Shorter version: race not a direct factor.

  • swain||

    no, his point was "nebulous, poorly defined concept that is fired off as a reflexive defense is the reason to absolve them"

    race isn't a direct factor, but races do have different cultures, and the culture of certain races can encourage certain outcomes.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I wasn't absolving anyone of anything. People are accountable for their actions, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or any other factor. I was merely pointing out that there's other factors at play in addition to cultural attitudes. I would have thought that should have gone without saying, but apparently not.

  • swain||

    "People are accountable for their actions, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or any other factor"

    then your original post is moot.

    " I was merely pointing out that there's other factors at play "

    which is it then? no, you were doing exactly what i said you were, and you got caught and hate it.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Not meaning to speak for CA but his point isn't moot and neither is mine....

    In fact, it's historical and well understood direct refutation that you are wrong.

    Your comment characterizes 'good' neighbors and neighborhoods as 'white' and the bad neighborhoods as 'black' when that's an untrue charcterization because it focuses on an irrelevant factor (race) while ignoring more relevant factors such as socio-economic status.

    Summary: you're an idiot who does not seem to understand, these points weren't relevant until you made them so, by first falsely characterizing the problem then whining about how those 'other things' are indefinable (which they are not) so can be safely ignored for your preference of using race.

    So you can either restate or stay racist - your call

  • jay||

    It seems you are responding to swain, who didn't write the original comment, he agreed race wasn't relavent and argued maybe culture was. why don't you explain how he can actually point to a relevant factor, that doesn't absolve those in the "bad" community. Something makes "bad" -bad so how about we actually discuss it. Culture? tribalism on the part of a majority of the members of some races which results in them overwhelmingly voting as a democrat bloc?

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Swain, your link to The Federalist and/or Brietard is broken.
    Go crawl back under your rock, Grand Wizard.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    So, someone makes a claim that the "snitches get stitches" attitude of some black people explains the disparity of crime rates in black vs white neighborhoods, and I cheekily point out that there may be other factors involved such as socioeconomic conditions, and I'm the one making "unfalsifiable excuses?" OK then...

    And what, exactly, do you think my "ilk" is? Do you think I'm a progressive or some shit? You must be new here because I don't think anyone who has even a passing familiarity with my posting history here over the last several years could make that conclusion. Unless your definition of progressive is "someone who says something I disagree with." That said, I don't have the inclination to get into some kind of pointless libertarian purity test/ dick measuring contest with you or anyone else. For one, I don't have the time, but mostly it's because I don't about what you or anyone else thinks about anything, and the day I do is the day a stick a shotgun barrel in my mouth and pull the trigger with my toes.

  • swain||

    " I cheekily point out that there may be other factors involved such as socioeconomic conditions, and I'm the one making "unfalsifiable excuses?" OK then... "

    nope, he is too. glad i could explain that to you.

    "And what, exactly, do you think my "ilk" is? "

    excuse makers and low expectation racists.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    excuse makers and low expectation racists.

    The fuck?! How is anything I've said "excuse making" or racist?

  • swain||

    that you don't know is entirely the problem.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Yeah, it's everyone else.

    lol - good one

  • sharmota4zeb||

    ummm ... plenty of rich people can be violent when they are in a no snitch neighborhood. The guy who pays off all the hired muscle has money. He chooses to spend it on muscle instead of putting it in the bank. Most of the poverty in high crime neighborhoods is a result of the crime, the poor government schools run by the local elected officials, and the bad regulations written by the local elected officials.

  • Cathy L||

    Tons of people in black neighborhoods call the cops to report shit like "kids on the corner smoking weed," so, no.

  • swain||

    yeah, no, you're obviously white and talking out your ass

  • Cathy L||

    I am white. Doesn't mean I can't listen to a police scanner.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Likely those calls are mostly ignored due to lack of resoures. Police are deployed to their tax base outside of major crimes. That and urban gov revenue in a lot of large cities has been falling for decades.

    It sucks, but it is and will continue to be so, if we cannot first agree on the problem.

  • Cathy L||

    The problem is anyone who complains about people smoking weed on the corner.

  • swain||

    or lie about what people in black communities do.

  • Cathy L||

    You're right, it was easy for Azathoth to lie about what people in black communities do.

  • swain||

    "You're right"

    it didn't slow you down either, glad you agree

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Azathoth is supposed to be a seething mass of chaos that does not discriminate based on race, and seeks to devour all skin colors equally, not a seething mass of inbred bigoted retardery.

  • SIV||

    In a civilized world, the adults in the neighborhood would have gone out and asked the kid what he was doing and if he was okay.

    How'd that work out for George Zimmerman?

  • Cathy L||

    Hahahahaha

  • swain||

    ^this is what it looks like when your narrative falls apart

  • Cathy L||

    It looks like...killing someone and being acquitted?

  • swain||

    no, it looks like you cackling like a lunatic because your typical reflexive responses fail

  • swain||

    and...you are the psycho laughing about a dead boy.

  • Cathy L||

    No, I'm laughing about SIV's whining.

  • swain||

    no you aren't. and your lie is stupid, he isn't whining at all, that much is obvious. you're laughing because your typical reflexive responses don't work but you can't let his post go unanswered and you're a psycho.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "Summer of Snitches"

    I's much rather have a "Summer of Snatches" but noooo, we can't have nice things, can we?

  • ||

    2020 CA, 2020.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I was expecting something very different when I saw "snatch highlights" in the video description.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The #MeToo made it difficult for guys to grab snatch, but if any men like fucking an asshole ...

    Cynical A., what's your schedule like this summer?

  • Ron||

    I have no problem with the owner who called in this case, that said maybe if the caller was more vigilant he/she would know who the paper boy was

  • SIV||

    It sounds like the paper boy was new. He didn't know who his subscribers were which resulted in the mildly suspicious behavior.

  • ||

    maybe if the caller was more vigilant he/she would know who the paper boy was

    Maybe they do.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Technically Socialist newspaper propaganda is protected by the 1st Amendment currently, even though the media is trying to get rid of the 1A.

  • Longtobefree||

    Only for you, my friend, only for you.

  • lafe.long||

    The most horrifying part of this story?

    a new law in Upper Arlington requires people delivering newspapers "to walk up to each home to correctly deliver these materials."


    What the actual fuck?
    When I delivered papers, I shortcutted though all the backyards, climbed fences, went in and out of two and three-family houses. On foot. At 10 yrs old. (a parent in a car? lmfao).

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "Helicopter parenting" is practically mandated law in a lot of places now.

  • lafe.long||

    I was pushing 100 sunday papers in a stolen shopping cart in blizzards. Not only wouldn't my old man give me a ride, if any customers called about late papers I'd really be in the shit. lol.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    When I was a kid, we did that playing tag, but that was when the suburbs were relatively new and low income people could not afford cars or taxis.

  • GlenchristLaw||

    Maybe he should start a lemonade stand...

    ...oh wait, never mind.

  • swain||

    at least he'd get his fines paid

  • Longtobefree||

    Only if he uses artificial ingredients

  • ||

    "Sad I cant [sic] 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,'"

    You know who else tried to teach kids about the value of hard work and was leered at because people didn't think he belonged in the neighborhood?

  • Rhywun||

    "Sad that you have to autmatically reach for the race case, with zero evidence."

    Also sad that the media are gleefully piling on.

  • Rhywun||

    er... "card"

  • DesigNate||

    I find it hard to believe that this is just suddenly a new problem/phenomenon.

  • BYODB||

    I think it's probably more likely that whomever made the call figured these were scammer solicitors, of which there are many in the Arlington / Dallas area. I find it unlikely it was flat out 'racism'.

  • BYODB||

    Nevermind, Arlington Ohio lol.

    I have no idea if door-to-door scam artists are common there.

  • Cumbubbulus||

    There's a solution to all of this. A once and for all type of solution . . . and yes, it involves cattle cars.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Here is another account all of the the racist, right-wing goobers masquerading as libertarians (and as decent people) might wish to comment about before they perform the public service of taking their stale bigotry to the grave.

    Carry on, clingers. So far as your betters permit, that is.

  • gimmedatribeye||

    Geez, you're such a crybaby

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Arthur L. Hicklib drops another solipsistic shitpost.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I'm just an observer at this extended meeting of Libertarians For Right-Wing Bigotry.

  • ||

    Instead of wondering if the race of the kid had anything to do with it,why not wonder if the race of the mother had anything to do with the outrage? Do not get me wrong annoying idiots that have nothing better to do than wait by the window for any opportunity to call police are annoying idiots. But imagine this same thing with an unknown neighbor calling on a white kid doing the same and his white mother saying,This must be racial profiling. For real? Just because a retard called your son on some retarded shit does not mean that the retard is racist. He is a retard. If he saw a kid fall he would have called police on charges of an unsupervised child. Retards will be retards and racist mothers that find everything that happens to them to be a product of racism will still be racist mothers with a racist outlook on the world. Black people that are hypersensitive to any race related thing are the worst. Assuming that the white manager on the hotel had to be racist and not just some idiots abusing his ability to call police because he is white is racist itself.

  • DesigNate||

    No no, this sort of thing only happens because of racism. Rev says so.

  • Enemy of the State||

    'Police also noted that a new law in Upper Arlington requires people delivering newspapers "to walk up to each home to correctly deliver these materials."'

    They needed to pass a LAW to codify logical behavior? Or is that to prevent adult carriers driving between customers from tossing the paper on the subscribers property, forcing carriers to adopt inefficient, time wasting procedures for who knows what reason?

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    "He, his mom, and his 17-year-old brother Mycah had delivered some of the newspapers to the wrong homes, and he was retrieving them."

    So, he was walking up to houses taking something from them. That would seem suspicious. I'm not getting the racism.

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