Woman calls police on black representative canvassing her own district

Woman calls police on black representative canvassing her own district

A woman called the police on OR state representative Janelle Bynum (D) as she was canvassing in a neighborhood in her district, according to Bynum's Tuesday Facebook post.

OR state Rep. Janelle Bynum poses with a Clackamas County Sheriff's officer after he stopped her in Clackamas, Ore., July 3, 2018.

Bynum was going door to door in Clackamas County for hours, talking to residents and taking notes about the conversations on her phone.

Bynum, 43, said he asked if she was selling door-to-door. She said it was the first time someone had reported her to the police in the 70,000 homes she's visited in her years canvassing. She was not. Bynum introduced herself and explained that she was actually canvassing because that's what legislators usually do; Bynum also surmised that someone had seen fit to call the cops on her.

"It was just freakish", Bynum told the publication.

"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", she said. She praised his response to the woman who called 911 to question the motives of a Black woman going about her job.

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After Bynum asked to speak to the woman, the deputy connected the two by phone. Bynum said in her Facebook post that the deputy, whom she referred to as Officer Campbell, "responded professionally".

Live from the mean streets of Clackamas!

The Washington Post was not able to reach Bynum on Thursday morning.

Bynum was elected to the state congress in 2016. At the time, aside from her apparently suspicious cellphone, she only had a pen and campaign flyers with her.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond Thursday to a message for comment on the incident. As CNN notes, someone in OH recently called the police on a 12-year-old boy for mowing the wrong lawn.

In April there were calls for a boycott of the Starbucks coffee shop chain after an employee in a Philadelphia branch called police to report two black men who were waiting for a friend. The unidentified woman was apologetic and claimed that she made the call because she was concerned about the safety of the neighborhood.

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