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A Georgia woman has been accused of racial profiling after she called the police on an African-American man who was baby-sitting two white children.
Corey Lewis, the baby sitter, accuses the woman of following and harassing him for the better part of an hour on Sunday afternoon in Marietta, Georgia.
Lewis said he first noticed the woman staring at him as he returned to his car after taking the kids to Subway. Lewis said the woman then drove up alongside his vehicle to ask if the brother and sister were OK.
“Why wouldn’t they be OK?,” Lewis said he responded. His answer did not satisfy the woman who was apparently concerned for the children's safety.
Lewis said that after driving off, she then returned and asked to speak to the eldest child, Addison.
Lewis said he refused because she was a stranger. “The lady got upset and she said, ‘OK, I’m going to take your license plate number,’” he recalled.
Lewis said the woman then followed as he drove home, where he was met by police. The woman has not been identified and Cobb County police could not immediately be reached for comment.
Lewis recorded parts of what happened in a series of Facebook Lives, which quickly went viral.
“It never occurred to me that someone would see us and decide to take such judgment that she took,” said Lewis, who runs a local community group. “In 2018, prejudiced people exist. We are still being judged, we are still being discriminated against,” he said.
The incident is the latest in a series of cases where African-Americans have found themselves confronted by police for going about their daily lives.
Earlier this year, two black men who hadn’t bought anything were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks. The incident resulted in the coffee chain closing 8,000 stores for an afternoon of “racial-bias education.”
The parents of the two children who were with Lewis on Sunday — Addison, 10, and Nicholas, 6 —said at first they struggled to wrap their heads around what had happened.
“I said are you telling me that because a woman saw a young African-American male with two white kids that they were pulled over by the police?,” the children’s mother, Dana Mango, recalled asking a police officer.
“He was apologetic and said, ‘Yes, ma'am, I'm sorry that appears to be what happened,’” she recalled.
Mango said she didn't believe the woman was truly concerned for her kids. "It doesn't make sense in light of what happened. They weren't crying, they weren't distressed," she said.
"There was only one thing that she saw that was out of place and that was kids of a different race than the person they were with," she added. "That's not a concern for the kids. That's racial profiling."