Two minority Texas reporters working on a story near a Plano school had police called on them last week by someone who thought they looked “suspicious.”
Homa Bash, a reporter with the Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate, tweeted on Oct. 12 that she and photojournalist C.J. Johnson were approached by a police officer who had received a call about a “Hispanic-looking woman and black man with a suspicious white truck and camera” near a school. Bash is of Indian heritage.
The tweet hit a nerve on social media. As of Wednesday morning, it had received more than 145,000 likes and had been shared more than 74,000 times.
One person asked Bash, “Not that it matters at all in this, but are you even Hispanic?” He followed up with the hashtag “#notallbrownisthesame.”
Michael Baldwin, a black Cincinnati reporter, told Bash that the same thing had happened to him in New York.
“So whenever I knock on doors, I always have my station microphone out,” Baldwin said.
“I did, too,” Bash replied. “The cop was like, ‘So…you’re marked in every way. Not sure what was confusing for them here.”
The Dallas Morning News reported that the Plano police officer who responded to the call is a veteran officer who recognized immediately that nothing was amiss. She let Bash and Johnson get back to their work reporting on a proposed ban on dogs in the city’s schools.
NBC 5 released a statement, saying that “the police officer and our crew were doing their jobs. Everyone acted professionally,” the newspaper reported.