Updated: Jul 4, 2019
In yet another incident of blacks being subjected to police action for innocent, innocuous activities, a white Ohio woman called the cops last month because a 12-year-old black boy who was cutting her neighbor's grass was mistakenly cutting her grass, too.
What the hell is going on in this country? A young boy is out there pushing a lawn mower and his friends are helping him rake and sweep up to try to earn some money and you're calling the cops because he accidentally strays onto your property?
What kind of person are you, anyway? And why would the cops even bother to show up?
It happened in Maple Heights, near Cleveland when 12-year-old Reginald "Reggie" Fields was cutting the lawn of Lucille Holt-Colden, a customer of his fledgling Mr. Reggie's Lawn Cutting Service.
“All young people ain’t out here doing wrong,” Ms. Holt-Colden says in her June 23 Facebook video. “I’m loving it.”
But a half-hour later, the neighbor called the police were called and they showed up.
"Who does that?" asked Holt-Colden in a second video. “If they would have been four white children, the police would not have been called,” Ms. Holt-Colden, who, like Reggie, is black, told The New York Times. “A lot of it is racially motivated.”
The episode in Maple Heights, outside Cleveland, was the latest example of the police being called on black people engaged in innocuous behavior, such as barbecuing, selling bottles of water, sitting in a Starbucks or napping in a college lounge.
“I thought they were going to punish me for cutting the grass,” Reggie told the newspaper.
Fortunately, the police didn't do anything. They just talked to the adults and left. But why did they waste resources showing up in the first place? Was it because the woman who complained is white and the kids are black?
That couldn't be, could it?
But it turns out that the incident has been a boon for the Mr. Reggie's Lawn Cutting Service. After her video gained attention, Ms. Holt-Colden said people asked what they could do to help.
So, she started an online fund-raiser that garnered $7,600 from nearly 300 donors as of last Saturday. The money will help Reggie expand his business, including buying a new shed for his tools and maybe even starting a college fund to help him study business someday.
He plans to buy rakes for this fall and some snow shovels so they can earn money in the winter, too.
Since the incident, Reggie said he was getting 15 to 20 calls per week to mow lawns, up from just four or five before the video.
He even got some love from the town's mayor.
"The City of Maple Heights is extremely proud of these young entrepreneurs!" Mayor Annette M. Blackwell said Sunday, calling the episode "a very heartwarming story and testament to the great children and generous people that live here."
You go, Mr. Reggie. You go.