Kevin Moore was having just another regular day of work as a firefighter in Oakland, California, this time by participating in a safety inspection. The result? Residents filmed him, asked for his ID and called police. All in a day's work––if you happen to be African-American.
Moore was in an upscale neighborhood completing mandatory outdoor inspections of vegetation growing around homes. He was in uniform, with clipboard and radio, but if this wasn't enough indication that he was with the fire department, the big fire truck parked on the street may have been a clue.
If the calls and demands for ID weren't enough, one resident even went so far as to email security footage of Moore to the Oakland Police Department. The big, scary crime? Moore, in uniform, knocking on a door. In a statement to reporters, Moore said:
I try to put myself in other people’s shoes, like if I see someone in my yard, I’d ask what they’re doing. That’s why I always call out, ‘Hello! Hello! Oakland Fire Department!’ Because I want to be heard. I just don’t want somebody to look out their window and see somebody in their backyard.
All residents received notices that the inspections would be taking place and that the fire department reserves the legal right to make safety inspections. Megan Bryan, who works with Moore, plans to partner up with him because she is worried about his safety. She said:
It’s not fair to him, and it’s actually not safe for him to be going into these backyards due to the sociopolitical climate.
Bryan also noted that there have never been calls on herself or any of the other white firefighters while conducting these annual inspections.
Bryan took to Facebook to show the difference in how people of color are treated.
People of color weighed in on how they too have been treated.
As the story went viral, the media began reporting the story.
The African-American community is fed up with this racist behavior.
Many people feel it's time to turn the tables.
This Twitter user spoke to the deeper problem.
And sadly, this man speaks for many who don't see any change.
The idea of fining people for false calls is floating around.
We should be thanking Moore, not calling the police.
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