Youth mentor was in shock after this surprising incident.

There’s a pretty famous saying about making assumptions. But sometimes, assuming something can do more than make you look silly — it can also be dangerous.

Yet, unfortunately, it was racism and preconceived notions that led one woman to call the police on a Black babysitter in Georgia for absolutely no reason.

A Surprising Encounter

man driving with a young girl in the backseat

Corey Lewis was babysitting for David Parker and Dana Mango one afternoon in Marietta, Georgia, when he decided to take the six-year-old boy and his sister to Subway at the local Walmart for lunch. Lewis knew them from his youth mentorship program, which the 27-year-old founded and runs.

As they were finishing up, an unidentified woman came up to the car and asked if the kids were all right, according to Lewis.

“I was taken aback and responded, ‘Why wouldn’t they be?’” Lewis told BuzzFeed News. “She told me ‘It looked weird,’ and I was like, ‘They’re fine.’”

What looked weird to the woman? The fact that Lewis is Black and the children are white. From there, she couldn’t let it go. She left, circled the parking lot in her car, then returned, as per Lewis.

“She then asked if the little girl could get out of the car so she could ask her if she knew who I was,” he continued. “And I said no and she got upset and threatened to take down my license plate and call the cops. I said OK and she drove off.”

A Scary Turn

When the kids finished eating, Lewis ensured they were both safe in the car and drove off to get gas. That’s when he realized the woman was tailing them in her car. He took out his phone and began recording the encounter.

“All because I got two kids in the backseat who do not look like me… It’s crazy,” he said in the video. “It’s 2018 and this is what I have to deal with. I can’t go out with two kids who don’t look like me without it being weird.”

Lewis was about to take the kids home when the woman kept following them, so he decided to go to his house instead. It was closer, plus his mother was home. When he arrived and pulled over, he took out his phone again and recorded a second video.

“She turned on my street too and then kind of stopped near the cul-de-sac and then, a few minutes later, the police officer showed up and began asking me questions,” Lewis told BuzzFeed News.

In the video, you can hear the approaching police officer ask Lewis what’s up.

“I am being followed and harassed; that’s what’s up,” Lewis said. “I’ve heard,” the officer answered with a laugh. He then questioned the kids and everyone went on their way. Still, the incident could have been a lot worse.

Dealing With the Aftermath

Afterward, the kids had a lot of questions, and the parents were shocked it had happened in the first place.

“We never thought we would have to prepare them for a traffic stop or being pulled out of a car by cops when we weren’t there,” the dad, Parker, explained to BuzzFeed News. “My wife really kept thinking it was a prank. It’s difficult to wrap my head around what would motivate someone to do that,” he continued.

According to Lewis and the family, they’re still trying to figure out who the woman was because the kids want her to know what a stand-up community man Lewis actually is.

“My son wants her to know how much fun he has with Mr. Lewis and what a great guy he is. Both kids also want to ask her why she thought it was weird that ‘someone with brown skin was with someone with peachy skin.’ Even superficially, they knew what was happening and they want to know why.”

As for Lewis, he’s sad but is trying to see the positive side of things.

“I work with white kids every day, and even though you always hear about this stuff, it’s still so demoralizing when it happens to you,” Lewis added. “I guess the good side of it is that it keeps a light on an issue that we need to keep talking about.”

Throwing Away Preconceived Notions

While it’s always important to try and help if a child seems in distress or something is off about their situation, there was no basis in this specific circumstance for this woman to have intervened. In fact, her actions could have caused more danger than good.

It’s a reminder that we should all try and check preconceived notions and not make snap judgments about people or situations without actually knowing what’s going on.

People are always going through things we can’t see, and just because someone may look one way to you doesn’t mean that’s who they are inside.

Instead, educate yourself, talk about these issues, and share stories such as these. The only way for things to get better is to be transparent and share the messages behind the stories as we all work toward a more unified future for everyone.