Police called on 11-year-old African-American newspaper carrier in Ohio

There’s a certain irony to the great-grandson of the first African-American Ohio Highway Patrolman being the victim of racial profiling.

It’s an irony not lost on Brandy Sharp. Her youngest son, Uriah, became the target of suspected racial profiling on the first day of his newspaper route. Mom followed along in the car as Uriah and his older brother hit the streets of Upper Arlington, a suburb of Columbus, to make their deliveries.

About midway through the route, Sharp said she noticed that Uriah had delivered papers to a few wrong addresses. Familiar with Upper Arlington’s solicitation ordinance, Uriah returned to collect the wrongly delivered papers. It was then that someone calledUpper Arlington Police to report the junior carrier for suspicious activity, she said.

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Sharp said she knew something was up when a police car showed up. She was in her car monitoring Uriah’s progress and reading a book.

After about 10 minutes the officer approached her car and asked if they were soliciting. No further action was taken after her explanation, but Sharp said the experience left her feeling angry. The anger was not directed at the police. Her grandfather was Louis Sharp, the first black patrolman hired by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.