15:14 GMT +317 February 2019
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    Janelle Bynum (D-OR) was out canvassing on Tuesday for the upcoming November election when one of her constituents called the police on her to report activity they saw as suspicious.

    Woman Calls Cops on Black Congresswoman Canvassing Neighborhood

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    A black member of the US House of Representatives, Janelle Bynum (D-OR), was out canvassing on Tuesday for the upcoming November election when one of her constituents called the police on her to report activity they saw as suspicious.

    The lawmaker was taking notes on her cellphone when an officer pulled up.

    Bynum is running for a second term in the House after running unopposed in the May 15, 2018, primary. Her website says that "she's working hard, just like she's been doing for more than a decade in our community."

    She appears to have been doing just that on Tuesday when the police were called on her. She told the Oregonian that she has knocked on an estimated 70,000 doors over the years while campaigning, but she's never experienced anything like this before.

    "It was just bizarre," she told the outlet for a July 4 story. "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."

    ​On Facebook, she struck a more jovial tone, joking that in the suburban area she was canvassing she was "Live from the mean streets of Clackamas!!!"

    And she wasn't upset with the officer who stopped her, either. She explained that she was a lawmaker for the district and gave him a "big shout out" for his professional response. She and the officer even took a selfie together. She gathered from the officer that someone had apparently called police on her after they observed her "going door to door and spending a lot of time typing on my cell phone after each house."

    In reality, she was "canvassing and keeping account of what my community cares about," she explained. 

    Bynum asked to speak personally to the woman who called, but the officer told her the woman was no longer home, so he let Bynum call her on the phone. Bynum told the Oregonian that the woman, whose race she wasn't aware of, apologized but would not confirm where she lived.

    Bynum told the officer that "when people do things like this, it can be dangerous for people like me," which prompted the officer to ask if he made her feel that way, she recalled. She told him that he hadn't.

    The lawmaker lamented that the woman who called the police on her did not take the time to speak with her or her neighbors. "We all know that we're not in a society that is perfect, and we have wounds that still need to heal, but at the end of the day, I want to know my kids can walk down the street without fear," Bynum said.

    Bynum says that she hopes to meet the woman eventually and may return to that neighborhood at some point. Her message to her constituents is, "I hope everyone gets a good look at my face, because I'm coming to your door."


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