A white woman in Oregon called police on a black couple because she objected to how they parked their car.
Rashsaan Muhammad and Mattie Khan were waiting for an order outside Little Big Burger in Portland when they noticed a woman standing across the street looking at their car and talking on the phone, reported the Portland Mercury.
The couple overheard the woman describing their vehicle and reading off their license plate number after they picked up their carryout bags and walked back to their car, so they asked her what the problem was.
“I tried to start a conversation,” Muhammad said. “I asked her who she was calling and what was going on. It was clear she was talking to the police.”
Khan began recording the encounter on her own phone, and the video shows the white woman pointing at their car.
“You can’t block the crosswalk,” she says. “Look at this — you are.”
The video shows the couple’s car partially parked in front of a curb cut leading to the crosswalk, but it does not appear to block it.
“She didn’t try to talk to us, she just called the police,” Muhammad said. “Why would people spend the time just trying to make our lives harder instead of talking it out like neighbors?”
Muhammad said he knew the space was a tight fit for his car, but he knew the order wouldn’t take very long to prepare and he stayed in the vehicle for most of the time he was parked there.
He’s lived all his life near North Portland, and Khan has since childhood, and he said the incident was less about racism than a lack of basic communication.
“New people come in and change a neighborhood and it causes these kind of stressful situations,” Muhammad said. “We don’t interact with each other the way we used to.”
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