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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Woman Calls 911 on 12-Year Old Black Boy Delivering Newspapers in Upscale Neighborhood

Uriah Sharp, boy delivering newspapers when police called

Uriah Sharp

Upper Arlington, OH — Uriah Sharp, a 12-year old Black boy from Ohio, was diligently doing his job on his first day of delivering newspapers in an Upper Arlington neighborhood last Friday morning when he caught the attention of a white woman who became suspicious and decided to call the cops.

“It looked like at first they were delivering newspapers or something, but I noticed they were walking up to houses with nothing in hand and one of them came back with something,” the white woman said in the 911 call.

Uriah’s mother, Brandie Sharp, who accompanied him and his 17-year old brother Mycah, said that what the woman may have noticed was when Uriah was retrieving the newspapers he delivered to the wrong address.

The Upper Arlington neighborhood apparently has a strict anti-solicitation ordinance and the Sharps had been warned not to put deliveries on the steps of people who did not order them. Uriah was then trying to correct his honest mistake.

But the white woman, whom the police didn’t release any identifying information, thought it “seemed kind of suspicious.”

Sharp took to Facebook her disappointment and disgust about the incident. She wrote in a Facebook post, “First day of paper route and we are pulled over by police. Sad, I can’t 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 neighborhood.'”

She said that when the officers approached them and questioned them, she explained what they were doing–just delivering newspapers.

“I showed him the thing for the Dispatch, The Bag, the midday week paper, that we get,” she told , “and he said ‘Oh, really?’ and by that time I was kind of like, ‘Okay, why are you questioning me about this?'”

That’s when the officers concluded that they were really just delivering newspapers.

“We sent an officer out to take a look at it,” said Officer Bryan McKean, a spokesman for the Upper Arlington Police Department. “When our officer arrived on [the] scene, he very quickly determined very quickly that these individuals were delivering the newspaper.”

Sharp now won’t let his son go back to that neighborhood to deliver newspapers anymore.

“My apologies Upper Arlington for bringing my 12-year old African American son into your neighborhood to deliver the paper and make a few dollars on the side … NO HARM INTENDED,” she posted on Facebook. “I will make sure my boss changes his route.”

Watch the news coverage below:

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