Brandie Sharp’s post on Facebook over the weekend about her encounter with Upper Arlington police is attracting hundreds of comments and shares:
Sharp and her two sons, Micah and Uriah, were on Barrington Rd. Friday evening delivering ‘The Bag’ of ads to front porches when a police cruiser pulled up.
“And he was like, what are you doing here…are you soliciting? ”Sharp told NBC4. “I said, no sir I’m not soliciting, I’m delivering papers. He said, what papers? I showed him the paper. He said, Oh really, and sat there for a minute and then pulled off.”
Sharp says it felt like racial profiling.
What she didn’t know, was that a resident had called police.
Police department spokesman, Officer Bryan McKean said the caller reported seeing someone going up to a porch empty-handed and leaving the porch with something in their hand.
“Any time we get a call like that obviously we’re going to respond,” McKean said. “We’re going to make sure that nothing criminal was going on. If we think someone is taking things from porches, we would want our police force to follow up on that to make sure.”
Sharp says they had delivered some of the bags to the wrong houses and they were going back to retrieve them. “I want to know what was suspicious, what was suspicious,” Sharp said. “That an 11-year -old was up in the driveway, getting a newspaper, literally went up and came right back down.”
Sharp says the whole incident had a feel of racial bias.
“I could see if we did something wrong – loud music or whatever,” Sharp said. “We did nothing wrong. Why are you talking to us like we did something, like we were throwing bombs or throwing toilet paper on someone’s tree or something. We did nothing wrong.”
McKean says race played no part in the police response.
“If she feels she was treated unfairly by our officer, we want to hear from her,” McKean said. “We want to know what our officer did to make her feel that way so we can investigate that and we can find out.”
McKean says the responding officer was satisfied within a matter of seconds that there was no wrongdoing and cleared the scene.
The large response to Sharp’s Facebook post prompted the Upper Arlington Police Department to post the following:
We have seen some conversations on Facebook relative to a Police response to a report of suspicious activity that turned out to be completely benign, and wish to provide some background on what transpired. On Friday evening, UA Police responded to a report of suspicious activity concerning a vehicle and two people on foot near Barrington Elementary. The caller reported seeing one of the people approach a home empty-handed but leave holding something. The first officer to arrive quickly determined it was a team of people delivering printed advertising materials and reported back that there was no issue. For some context, UA recently enacted a law placing more stringent requirements on the delivery of printed materials, such as advertising packets, to help reduce littering. Deliveries must be made to specific locations, such as on a porch or through a mail slot in the front door. This has changed the patterns of delivery people, since they are required to walk up to each home to correctly deliver these materials. Residents are seeing this change in approach but may not be aware of the new law. If you would like more details, please call Police, at 614-583-5197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.