Shelia Stubbs, 46, was canvassing in a neighborhood for a state assembly seat in Madison, Wisconsin, when someone called the police. According to the Capital Times, she was with her mother, Linda Hoskins, 71, and her daughter, 8.
On Aug. 7, just before 7 p.m., officer Katherine Bland of the Madison Police Department responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle, according to a report obtained by BuzzFeed News.
“FULLY OCCUPIED SILVER 4 DR SEDAN NEWER MODEL — THINKS THEY ARE WAITING FOR DRUGS AT THE LOCAL DRUG HOUSE — WOULD LIKE THEM MOVED ALONG,” notes from the dispatch call read, according to the report.
"ONGOING PROBLEM — DRUG HOUSE IS [REDACTED] — SAYS NO ONE IS AT THE DRUG HOUSE NOW — SAYS THIS IS COMMON OCCURRENCE FOR [VEHICLE] TO SIT AROUND UNTIL SOMEONE SHOWS UP."
Officer Bland, responding to the call, found Linda Hoskins and her granddaughter waiting for Stubbs.
"Elder Linda Haskin [sic] [identified verbally] explained to me she and her granddaughter were in the vehicle waiting for her adult daughter, Sheila [sic] Stubbs, to complete door to door campaigning," the report read.
At the time the officer arrived, Stubbs was speaking with someone. “Elder Haskin [sic] did point out Sheila [sic] who I observed speaking with a resident of a nearby home,” the report read.
“I thanked Elder Haskin [sic] for the information and apologized for having had to interrupt her evening as a result of this call for service.”
Eventually, Stubbs returned to the car, and officer Bland explained why she was there. "I explained to Sheila [sic] [identified verbally] why I contacted her mother and daughter."
Stubbs did not immediately return BuzzFeed News' request for an interview about the incident, but she did speak about her experience to the Capital Times.
"It's 2018," she said to the outlet. "It shouldn't be strange that a black woman's knocking on your door. I didn't do anything to make myself stand out. I felt like they thought I didn't belong there."
Before the officer left, both Hoskins and Stubbs gave the officer their phone numbers, “offering their assistance in positively connecting with various Madison communities,” the report read.
The officer followed up with the individual who placed the call, "making him aware of my findings."
Following the incident, Stubbs went on to win the Democratic primary for Wisconsin's 77th Assembly District. Stubbs has seven priorities listed on her campaign website that include “Reform Wisconsin’s Criminal Justice System” and “Increase Access to Health Care for All.”
This incident is just the latest in a string of people calling the authorities on black people as they engage in everyday tasks, like swimming, mowing the lawn, and delivering newspapers.
This is also not the first instance of a black woman being reported to the police while canvassing, either. In July, Rep. Janelle Bynum was reported to authorities after knocking on the doors of constituents in Oregon.