When a white woman spotted a black man with two white children at Walmart, she became immediately concerned. She approached to ask him one question after what she witnessed. When he answered, she was quickly calling 911 for help.
Corey Lewis was visiting an Atlanta Walmart on a Sunday when a woman approached him in the parking lot with a question. After noticing that Lewis, a black man, had a 10-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy with him, who happened to be white, the woman asked to check on the children. Specifically, she wanted to speak to the girl to make sure she was okay. Lewis refused to let her.
Lewis’ refusal left the woman increasingly concerned for the children’s well-being, so she decided to follow him. She first tailed him to a gas station before continuing to follow him the entire way to his house. Then, she called 911 to request a welfare check on the children. Meanwhile, Lewis recorded the entire ordeal, streaming it to Facebook Live and keeping the camera trained on the woman’s car to show that it was waiting for him to make a move.
“I’m babysitting right, I got two kids in the backseat with me, we just came from Subway and Walmart,” Lewis said in his first of two videos. “This lady is following me because I got two kids in the backseat that do not look like me. She asks to see the little girl so she can ask her if she knows who I am,” he continued.
“I see this lady is not moving, all because I got two kids in the backseat that do not look like me,” he furthered. “This lady has taken it upon herself, said she’s going to take my plate down and call the police. It’s crazy, it’s 2018 and this is what I got to deal with,” Lewis complained. “I can’t go out with two kids that don’t look like me without something being weird. You see this lady is still not moving, she’s harassing me.”
A police officer responded to the report and quickly got to the bottom of things, asking the kids to get out of the car so he could check to see if they were okay. It was determined that Lewis, an accomplished youth mentor who runs an after-school mentoring center, was indeed babysitting the two white children.
Now, Lewis is accusing the woman of racial profiling. Recording the interaction with the Cobb County police officer, in a second video Lewis streamed to Facebook, he told the cop, “I’m being followed and harassed.”
“She pulled up talking about, ‘Are the kids okay?’ Why wouldn’t they be okay? No one’s yelling, no one’s screaming, no one’s trying to run away,” Lewis continued as the officer explained that he was just responding to the 911 call to make sure everything is fine. He asked Lewis why he was recording their interaction. “I’m letting the world know what’s really going on,” Lewis responded. “I can’t even step out into the community without being profiled,” he alleged.
“She left, came back, and asked to see the little girl so she can ask her if she knows who I am. Then, I went over to get some gas, she came back there and stayed there, that’s crazy,” Lewis said before the cop asked to speak with the children himself. The boy and girl got out of the vehicle and confirmed that Lewis was babysitting them.
“He’s babysitting us,” the 10-year-old girl told the officer, explaining that they went to Catch Air, an indoor play facility, before going to Subway for dinner that day, Daily Mail reported. “Then this lady started following us,” the young girl added. The officer then spoke with the children’s parents, David Parker and Dana Mango, to resolve the issue.
“I said, ‘Are you saying that because there’s an African American male driving my two white kids, that he was stopped and pulled over and questioned?’ And, he said, ‘I’m sorry ma’am that’s exactly what I’m saying,'” Mango told CBS46, explaining that her son attends Lewis’ mentoring program and they had arranged for him to watch the children. Parker was also fuming, claiming Lewis was targeted for “babysitting while black.”
Lewis runs an after-school mentoring program, called “Inspired by Lewis,” which he launched to provide enrichment to socially challenged youth. He has worked with students in emotional and behavioral disorder classrooms, as well as homeless youth, foster kids, and children whose parents have been incarcerated.
He was even wearing a shirt advertising his business, which aims to help children by promoting positive character development, self-awareness, and life skills. “I work with kids every day, even on my off days,” he told the cop.
While it’s very unfortunate that an innocent man was questioned, the trafficking of children is a real issue in our country. People are encouraged to follow their instinct, and if they see something, say something. Had Corey Lewis allowed the woman to ask the girl if she was okay, this incident could have been avoided.
If Lewis truly cares about the well-being of children, one would think he’d applaud the woman for her desire to ensure that the children were with someone they knew. If the races were reversed, the concerned citizen may have very well had the same reaction. We shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that everything is about skin color.