Police called on Ohio child who was delivering newspapers

Brandie Sharp and her sons, 17-year-old Mycah and 11-year-old Uriah, were delivering "The Bag," full of newspaper ads, to porches on Barrington Road in Upper Arlington when she said police were called on them. (WSYX/WTTE)

Brandie Sharp and her sons, 17-year-old Mycah and 11-year-old Uriah, were delivering "The Bag" to porches on Barrington Road in Upper Arlington, Ohio.

"It is the whole job of teaching them to work," said Sharp.

But, Uriah had to go back.

"We had delivered to the wrong houses," his mom said. "So he went to go grab the newspapers to make sure everything was okay."

Then, a police officer showed up, and asked what they were doing.

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

Someone had called Upper Arlington Police.

"It looked like at first they were delivering newspapers or something, but I noticed they were walking up to the houses with nothing in hand and one of them came back with something," said the caller to Upper Arlington Police. "I mean, I don't want to say something was going on, but it just...but it just seemed kind of suspicious."

"What was suspicious at 5:30 in the evening? What was this big, you know, reasoning that you had to call the police?" said Sharp.

She felt she had to share what happened in a post that is now being commented on and shared hundreds of times.

"Something as simple as delivering papers and it turns out to be I have to be racially profiled?" she said.

Police told ABC6/FOX28 that they often respond to calls from people worried about what the caller thinks is suspicious behavior.

"We sent an officer out to take a look at it," said Officer Bryan McKean. "When our officer arrived on scene, he very quickly determined very quickly that these individuals were delivering the newspaper."

He said for police, race played no role.

"I would say to anyone who feels like their interaction with us was not professional and not to the highest standard, to contact us directly," said Officer McKean.

Uriah said he will keep helping mom, but he is uncomfortable after the experience with police.

Sharp said she wishes the caller would have reached out to them instead first, and asked what was going on.

Police said there is a new ordinance in town that means papers have to be delivered directly to someone's porch or into a mail slot, versus the drive way. This means delivery people will be coming onto someone's front porch.

While they can't say if this played a factor in the call, police do want to get the word out to neighbors about the change.

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