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Police Called on Black Oregon State Rep. Canvassing Neighborhood

Janelle Bynum, Oregon, canvassing

A Black Oregon state legislator says a constituent called the cops on her while she was canvassing in a neighborhood she represents, The Oregonian reports.

Rep. Janelle Bynum was knocking on doors and talking with constituents Tuesday as part of her re-election campaign for the state’s House of Representatives when a sheriff’s deputy approached her. He told her that someone called to report a possible burglar.

Bynum said she introduced herself to the cop and told him why she was going door to door.

“Big shout out to Officer Campbell who responded professionally to someone who said that I was going door to door and spending a lot of time typing on my cell phone after each house – aka canvassing and keeping account of what my community cares about!” she wrote on Facebook.

Bynum told The Oregonian that she takes notes on her phone while walking through neighborhoods and that this is the first time someone has called the police on her while campaigning.

“It was just bizarre,” she said. “It boils down to people not knowing their neighbors and people having a sense of fear in their neighborhoods, which is kind of my job to help eradicate. But at the end of the day, it’s important for people to feel like they can talk to each other to help minimize misunderstandings.”

The deputy got the caller and on the phone, and Bynum said the woman apologized and said she made the call because she was concerned about the safety of the neighborhood.

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