7 Normal Activities White People Call the Cops on Black People For

The next time you hear someone declare the United States a post-racial society, go ahead and laugh that nonsense off. The way that African Americans are viewed in this country still differ wildly from that of whites, as evidence by some of the completely average, non-criminal activities they get reported to the police for.

Read the examples below and ask yourself, would a white person call 911 on a fellow white person for these actions? Bear in mind that this list isn’t an exhaustive history of dumb complaints to the police, these are all just incidents that have occurred in the past month alone.

 

1. NAPPING

In my time at college, I saw many an overworked student trying to catch some ZZZs in common areas. Therefore, hearing that Lolade Siyonbola, a black graduate student at Yale, took a nap on a couch in a dormitory building doesn’t seem out of the ordinary to me.

Apparently, it did for a white Yale student who called the cops on Siyonbola when she thought she didn’t belong in the building. The police then spent over 15 minutes trying to confirm Siyonbola was a student, even though she had a student ID and was able to open up her dorm room with a key. Does a black woman really look that out of place on a college campus?

 

2. BARBECUING

An irate white woman confronted a black family having a weekend cookout at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. Even though the family was doing exactly what so many other families do in a “designated BBQ zone,” the woman insisted the family was trespassing and said she would make sure the police put them in prison.

The police did eventually arrive but made no arrests or citations against the barbecuing family. It’s a wonder that police even showed up at all, with witnesses saying the woman’s complaint seemed motivated by racial bias more than genuine concern for BBQ regulations.

 

3. MOVING INTO AN APARTMENT

When Darren Martin, a man who used to be a White House staffer during the Obama administration moved into a New York City apartment last week, he was surprised to see several police officers enter his unit without permission. They explained that a neighbor had reported a black man was breaking into the building.

Perhaps the neighbor could have paid attention to the fact that Martin was bringing belongings IN to the apartment rather than out before deciding it was a robbery. To make matters worse, that neighbor told 911 that he “possibly” had a weapon, which could have seriously endangered his life. Fortunately, the police were able to confirm he leased the apartment within fifteen minutes.

 

4. GOLFING

Managers at Grandview Golf Club contacted the police twice about a group of African American women. The women, who were new members of the golf course and had paid to play, were accused of playing too slowly.

The women insist they were playing at a decent pace and were just being targeted by the male management because of their race and gender. When the police arrived, they decided the situation did not merit any intervention (gee, you think?!) but there’s no doubt that their presence intimidated the women into leaving before their game was complete.

 

5. SITTING IN STARBUCKS

Two black men waiting for a friend in a Philadelphia Starbucks had the police called on them by a manager. The manager accused them of loitering because they hadn’t purchased anything, but have you ever been in a Starbucks? There are always a few people taking advantage of the free wi-fi without even bothering to get a beverage.

The fact that it was African Americans guys who were made to leave – in handcuffs, no less – while others do the same thing in the store every day is especially suspect.

 

6. RENTING AN AIRBNB

This week, three black women moving out of an Airbnb rental in Rialto, California were stopped by the police under suspicioun of robbing the home. Apparently, a neighbor saw the ladies dragging suitcases out of a home and thought they must be taking stuff, and a swarm of police arrived to detain the women, despite them having proof of legally renting the property.

According to the white neighbor, she was suspicious because the women didn’t bother to wave and smile at her, something the homeowner said the women should have done. As the lawyer for the women said, though, “They have a right not to smile. We don’t want to live in an America where black people are forced to smile at white people to preserve their lives.”

 

7. WORKING OUT

A black men trying to exercise at an LA Fitness in Secaucus, New Jersey was asked to leave the gym for not paying. That may have been a fair request if he weren’t a longtime gym member, so he had every right to be at the gym. When the man argued he had the right to be there, the police were contacted.

The police arrived and quickly realized that there wasn’t a good reason for LA Fitness management to deny entry to this man. Fortunately, corporate later agreed with the police’s assessment, confirming the man’s membership was active, and they fired three employees at the gym for totally mishandling the situation.

 

LET’S LEARN SOMETHING FROM THIS

Though most of these situations rightfully resulted in no charges being pressed, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t have escalated to something much worse. We’ve seen time and time again where police respond violently to black suspects, like the Sacramento man who was shot multiple times by police when they assumed his cellphone was a weapon.

With the prejudices we’ve seen demonstrated against black people by law enforcement in this country, it can be dangerous to involve the police, even when the perceived problem is petty. For that reason above all else, white people really ought to think twice before dialing 911 over trivial matters.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

87 comments

Timothy J
Timothy J3 days ago

I'm really disturbed by these incidents. Whites are being way too sensitive and paranoid, and they are causing Police to waste their precious time. Whites should learn to mind their own business.

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Antje S
Antje S1 months ago

The colour of your skin shouldn't matter at all - we live in one world together

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Leo C
Leo Custer2 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Paul B
Paul B2 months ago

The overwhelming majority of people in this country are NOT racist. And I would guess the percentages of whites and blacks who are racist are not that different.

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Paul B
Paul B2 months ago

You will never eliminate racism from whites or blacks who are just as likely to be racist as whites, just listen to BLM and Black Panthers. To nitpick isolated incidents then generalize to assume a mass implication is shotty journalism. While that is not uncommon on this site, this is what I would call race baiting, purposefully promoting division and prejudice in society. The stories here don't accurately detail the entire situation and likely exaggerates the implications, but hey, anything to push some radical left agenda is perfectly fine I guess.

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Amanda M
Amanda M2 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Amanda M
Amanda M2 months ago

noted

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Fran F
Fran F2 months ago

If anyone called the cops on those overly-suspicious white people for routine activities, and the said white people were actually taken into custody, they would no doubt have considered it a great injustice. Apparently they think standards of fairness and justice, and "innocent until proven guilty" do not apply equally to everyone.

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Freya H
Freya H2 months ago

Sadly, the monster of racism is alive and well. Black and white alike need to reach across the divide.

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Leo Custer
Leo Custer2 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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