An African-American candidate running for Lauderdale Lakes City Commission in Florida said he was a victim of campaigning while Black when officers, with police dogs and helicopter support, confronted him.
About six Broward County sheriff’s deputies surrounded 30-year-old Roosevelt McClary on Wednesday while he was distributing campaign flyers and talking to a voter, the Miami Herald reported.
The officers were reportedly responding to a call about a home invasion. McClary fit the description they received from the homeowner, who described the suspect as a Black man wearing khaki pants, the deputies told the candidate.
“I don’t see why there’s a whole bunch of detectives and police cars out there, helicopters. They had dogs out there!” McClary said later in an interview with the newspaper.
McClary, a full-time member of the Broward Teacher’s Union executive board, decided to hit the campaign trail during his lunch break. He left a campaign flier in the door jamb of a house when no one answered his knock, apparently setting off the alarm system.
The security contractor alerted the homeowner, who was away when McClary knocked, that someone had been on her doorstep. After watching footage of McClary on her smartphone, the woman called the police.
The police report allegedly said the woman told the cops that McClary broke into her house and was in her living room. But the deputies found no evidence of a break-in. McClary wanted to pursue charges against the homeowner. He’s accusing her of making a false police report, which she denied.
Campaigning while Black has been an issue during the mid-term season. In July, a homeowner called the police on Oregon state Rep. Janelle Bynum because she looked suspicious, USA Today reported. But Bynum was just knocking on doors and campaigning in the district she represents.
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