WATCH: Safeway calls cops on black mother for giving food to the homeless because they thought she was a shoplifter
Erika Martin

Altruism can now be added to the list of benign activities black people apparently can't engage in without being treated like criminals.

Sunnyvale, California resident Erika Martin says she and her family liked to give food and other supplies to the homeless, KPIX reports.

"It makes me feel good, you know," Martin told the station.

On a Sunday in July, she was sitting in her car, waiting to give a homeless man who spends his time in a Safeway parking lot some dog food for his pet.

All of the sudden, multiple officers approached her car. Safeway employees had called the police because they thought she'd been shoplifting.

Part of the misunderstanding seemed to arise because her son had approached the deli earlier to see if they were offering cookie samples.

After the police confronted the family her son thought he was in trouble and got upset. “He was like crying because he thought they were there to arrest him,” said Martin.

Her sister, who recorded the incident and posted it to Facebook, described the encounter with disbelief.

"Right here at Safeway in Mountain View someone called the police on Erika. She was in her car the whole time. Crazy. You've got four cops here for one black person. Absolutely nuts," she said.

Reached by KPIX, officers said the family had been fully co-operative.

"This is the type of world we live in you guys," Martin wrote on Facebook. "We need to pray because this right here is crazy."

Mountain View, home to Google, saw homelessness increase by 51 percent between 2015 and 2017.