Add “waiting for an Uber” and “trying not to get drenched by the rain” to the long list of everyday activities that have led to police encounters for people of color.
A black woman named Darsell Obregon was on her way to a train station in Brooklyn on July 22 when it began to rain, prompting her to take shelter in the doorway of a nearby apartment while she called an Uber, according to her July 25 Facebook post.
A woman, presumably white and a resident of the building, then called the police on Obregon “no more than 3 minutes later,” according to the post, and came out of her home to confront Obregon while on the phone with the authorities.
Obregon then recorded her. Footage of the incident shows the woman, who has since been identified as Arabella Juniper Torres in a Blavity report, telling Obregon that she is—or perhaps isn’t?—on private property, and then requesting that someone send an officer.
“You’re standing on public property, man, you know that right?! This is—this is not public property!” says the women to Obregon, who is largely silent throughout the video.
The woman repeatedly tells whoever she’s on the phone with that Obregon is recording the encounter, even saying, “So you’re sending an officer? Because now she’s recording me.”
“She’s recording me right now. I’ve asked her to leave and she’s refusing,” the woman says again later.
Later, as Obregon attempts to leave in the Uber she called for, the woman follows her outside barefoot, and tells the Uber driver, “If you go anywhere, you’ll be committing a crime as well, you know that, right?”
“You’re leaving. This is against the law,” she adds.
Still on the phone ostensibly with police, the woman remarks that “she’s trying to leave,” and then reads off the Uber driver’s license plate number.
A July 30 Twitter post sharing Obregon’s story and a shortened video of the incident has been viewed more than 121,000 times.
Obregon’s encounter with #DoorwayDebbie, as some online have taken to calling her, is, unfortunately, far from a rare occurrence.
[Photo: Facebook/Darsell Obregon]