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A white woman called the police on a black man babysitting two white children and then following them home in Georgia.
Corey Lewis said the woman stopped him outside a Walmart in Cobb County on Sunday and demanded to speak to the kids to check if they were OK.
After refusing the woman’s requests, Lewis began live-streaming the encounter on Facebook, while the woman called the police on him and began following him back home.
Upon arriving at his home, he was met by a police officer who questioned why he was driving around with two white children.
“I didn’t know what was going on, what she wanted to do. I felt like my character was being criminalized.”
“I didn’t know what was going on, what she wanted to do,” Lewis told the New York Times. “I felt like my character was being criminalized.”
In the videos, Lewis is heard saying that he’s being “followed and harassed,” to which an officer replies, “I’ve heard.”
The police officer then questions the children, ages 6 and 10, and their parents David Parker and Dana Mango, who all backed up Lewis’ story.
“It just knocked us out of our chair,” Parker told the Times. “We felt horrible for Corey.”
The couple were stunned by the incident. They said Lewis, an “All-American Guy, is a family friend who runs a youth program that their sons is attending.
“B-W-B is the new thing, babysitting while black,” Parker said.
“B-W-B is the new thing, babysitting while black.”
The father said that while he wants to give the benefit of the doubt to the woman who called the police on Lewis, it was obvious that the children weren’t in any apparent danger as the babysitter was wearing a signature bright green T-shirt with his company’s logo.
“I don’t think you have to watch too many ‘Law & Order’ episodes to realize kidnappers don’t usually wear fluorescent green shirts,” he said.
Parker also said he’s proud of his daughter, who told a reporter that the woman who called the police on her babysitter should be less prejudiced next time.
“She said that, ‘I would just ask her to next time, try to see us as three people rather than three skin colors because we might’ve been Mr. Lewis’s adopted children,’” Parker said.
Lewis told the Times that he’s back working with the children again and that the incident won’t stop him from continuing his work. “You see these things, but they’re like from a distance,” he said. “But then for it to actually happen to you, it’s unbelievable.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.