A mother has been left shocked and saddened after someone called the police on her 12-year-old son simply for delivering papers on a paper round to help out a community.
Brandie Sharp and her two sons, 17-year-old Mycha and 12-year-old Uriah, were delivering newspaper ads to porches on Barrington Road, Upper Arlington, in Ohio.
It was Uriah's first day on his first ever job, and he'd accidentally delivered the newspapers to the wrong addresses, meaning that he had to return to the houses and collect them again.
On witnessing this, a woman from the neighbourhood called the police because she wanted to report 'suspicious behaviour'.
A recording of the phone call to the local police department was reported by ABC 6 as saying:
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.
I mean, I don't want to say something was going on, but it just but it just seemed kind of suspicious.
After the incident, Brandie took to Facebook in a now viral post, to express her shock and sadness at the event, which she believes was an instance of racial profiling.
In the post, Brandie said:
Sad I cant 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 neighbourhood'.
Police officer pulls up and ask us questions as if we were intruding in their area.
Totally disgusted and disturbed that this kind of behaviour still exist.
Continuing in her post, she apologised to the people of Upper Arlington for bringing her '12-year-old African American son' into their neighbourhood.
My apologies Upper Arlington for bringing my 12 year old African American son into your neighbourhood to deliver the paper and make a few dollars on the side... NO HARM INTENDED.
I will make sure my boss changes his route.
Since posting the images and text, the post has gone viral and has been shared more than 1,600 times. It also has thousands of comments, mostly commending Brandie and her sons.
Ms Sharp also told ABC 6 / FOX 28 that she believed that the incident was an example of 'racial profiling'.
What was suspicious at 5:30 in the evening? What was this big, you know, reasoning that you had to call the police?
Something as simple as delivering papers and it turns out to be I have to be racially profiled?
Speaking to the same news network , officer Bryan McKean, who responded to the call, said that it was very quickly obvious that there was nothing suspicious taking place.
We sent an officer out to take a look at it. When our officer arrived on scene, he very quickly determined very quickly that these individuals were delivering the newspaper.
He was also quick to emphasise that race plays no role in the police force's work:
I would say to anyone who feels like their interaction with us was not professional and not to the highest standard, to contact us directly.