September 24, 2018

Black politician reported to the police for 'drug dealing' while campaigning

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An African-American politician was reported to the police for allegedly dealing drugs while campaigning in Wisconsin.

Just last month, someone reported to the local police about Sheila Stubbs, a local politician, dealing drugs. Stubbs has been a member of the Dane County Board of Supervisors for 12 years and has never had bad encounters or accusations, until recently.

She was accused of dealing drugs while campaigning for a seat in the Wisconsin State Assembly. The incident happened as Stubbs was campaigning in a neighborhood dominated by white people on the west side of the city. Together, but from a distance, her mother and her 8-year-old daughter came to show support. 

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When spoken to about her campaign, Sheila had this to say: 

“I had knocked at approximately six doors and some of the future constituents were home, and those that were home, I talked to for about 10 minutes… because they were excited that I stopped by.”

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However, after a while, she looked over to see that a police officer had decided to pull up just by her car. When she approached, the officer had said that someone accused her of selling drugs. 

“I happened to look over and I see this police officer had pulled up behind my car” she continued. Stubbs approached the officer and introduced herself. In return, the officer informed her about receiving a call from someone accusing Stubbs of selling drugs.

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She replied to the officer, “And I’m like ‘a drug dealer! Are you serious, they think I’m a drug dealer? No!”

Stubbs quickly showed proof to the officer about her campaign and the walk list with addresses of the houses she had stopped by at. She answered further questions of doubt until the officer believed and apologized for the misunderstanding.

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With discrimination still being quite rampant in today’s society, some officers are quick to judge and believe accusations set on black people. However, when there was no proof found about her alleged "drug dealing", she was let go. According to her, she felt so degraded and humiliated that she was accused of doing something illegal which was somehow connected to the color of her skin.

“It was just the humiliation. I felt so degraded, but I had to keep a certain persona… It took the both of us persuading her [the officer] before she realized it. I felt like I had to give my bio to persuade her who I really was.” 

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Prior to Stubbs’ accusation, a black woman campaigning in the recent months was also accused and questioned by a police officer for being ‘suspicious.’ Janelle Bynum was running for Oregon state senator when the officer approached her, similar to Stubbs. 

Eventually, Stubbs won almost 50 percent of the primary vote, which will grant her a seat in the Wisconsin Assembly next year.

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