A white woman in suburban Atlanta called 911 after she saw a black man babysitting two white children, sparking outrage from the kids’ parents, who accused the woman of profiling the man for “babysitting while black.”
The babysitter, Corey Lewis, and the two children, a boy and a girl, had just finished eating at a Subway in Marietta, Georgia, when he noticed the woman staring at them, according to NBC.
As they were getting into the car, the woman drove up and asked if the children were “OK,” Lewis explained to "Good Morning America."
“Why wouldn’t they be?” Lewis recalled asking, and the woman allegedly drove off.
Apparently concerned for the children’s safety, the woman circled back and asked if she could speak with the children to make sure everything was kosher. When Lewis refused, he said she got upset and told him she had taken down his license plate, NBC reported.
According to Lewis, who narrated the incident on several Facebook Live videos, the woman followed him back to his neighborhood and sat in her car down the street after he parked in front of his mother’s house.
“I can’t even go nowhere!” Lews said, as he positioned the video to show what he claimed was the woman’s car parked down the street.
The woman eventually called 911, and in an exchange captured by Lewis on Facebook Live, a Cobb County police officer pulled up to check on Lewis and the kids.
The officer, seeming slightly befuddled, asked to speak with the children — identified by "Good Morning America" as 10-year-old Addison and 6-year-old Nicholas — who confirmed that Lewis was charged with picking them up after school, seen in the video.
“He’s babysitting us,” Addison told the officer on the Facebook Live video, fidgeting nervously. “He took us to Subway and then this lady started following us.”
While the officer was speaking to the children, Lewis, who runs a local childcare company, narrated his frustration at what he believed to be suspicion based only on the fact that he was caring for children of a different race.
“It’s 2018 and I can’t even step out into the community without being profiled,” Lewis said in the video.
When the parents of the children, Dana Mango and David Parker, found out about the incident, they were livid. In fact, they told "Good Morning America" the ordeal had actually frightened their children.
“They said they were scared that they would say the wrong thing and cause him to get arrested,” Mango told the show, adding that Lewis had babysat the children for years and was like a member of the family.
The officer, Mango said, seemed embarrassed by the situation when he called her to notify her about 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, recounted.
“He was apologetic and said, ‘Yes, ma'am, I'm sorry, that appears to be what happened,’” she recalled.
According to NBC, Mango questioned whether the woman was really concerned for her kids at all.
"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," Mango insisted. "That's not a concern for the kids. That's racial profiling."
The incident came on the heels of a string of situations in which videos of white people calling the cops on black people going about their business have gone viral, including one woman in Oakland who became a meme after calling 911 on a group of people barbecuing, and a white woman in Brooklyn who called the cops on a black woman taking shelter from the rain.
A representative of the Cobb County Sheriff's Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.