Woman calls police on Black state representative campaigning in her own district

Woman calls police on Black state representative campaigning in her own district

Woman calls police on Black state representative campaigning in her own district

A black lawmaker in OR said the police were called on her while she was out canvassing in a neighborhood in her district. "And I was like, oh no", said Bynum.

The lawmaker, who was elected to represent House District 51, got the deputy to call the woman who reported her as suspicious, and Bynum said she was apologetic and said she called 911 because she was anxious about public safety. Bynum told local media that someone called 911 and reported that she was spending too much time at houses in the area.

As for Bynum, she told the Oregonian the experience helped inform her role as a state lawmaker.

Since November 2016 she has represented House District 51, which includes east Portland, Gresham, North Clackamas, Damascus, Boring, and Happy Valley.

Bynum said that the deputy who responded was courteous and professional, and even agreed to take a photo with her, which she later posted on her Facebook page.

Bynum said she understood the woman's concerns, but she wished she would have tried talking to her first or asking a neighbor to speak with her before calling police - which she said had wasted the deputy's time.

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Bynum estimates she's knocked on over 70,000 doors over her years of campaigning and has never had the police called on her until now.

State Reps. Teresa Alonso Leon and Janelle Bynum, right, high-five at the Oregon State Capitol on January 9, 2017.

"It was just weird", she told the Oregonian.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to a message requesting comment on the incident.

The lawmaker said taking notes is something she often does while out canvassing in the community, adding that she only had fliers, her phone and a pen on her when the deputy arrived. Among the others are the 12-year-old boy who was mowing grass, the eight-year-old girl selling bottled water and a family having a cookout in a public park. And for a pair of young black men in Philadelphia, it was sitting inside a Starbucks waiting for a person they were supposed to meet. She said she introduced herself to the officer as a state legislator and stated her business in the neighborhood.

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