The Atlanta parents who hired a black babysitter for their white children said the youngsters were ‘scared’ after a woman called police on the group, thinking something was awry.
David Parker and Dana Mango were called by police on Sunday after their babysitter was followed home by a woman who had called 911, fearing the family’s two children were in danger.
The couple told GMA they had been out at dinner when the incident unfolded, and missed a call from babysitter Corey Lewis. When they called back, a police officer answered the phone.
‘The police officer was trying to explain that he was there with my kids and that they were OK, but he wanted to confirm that I had given permission to Mr. Lewis to be with them,’ she said.
‘It truly took me several minutes to believe that it was real. I was just in a state of disbelief.’
The police officer was filmed speaking with Corey when the drama first began, and asking the children repetitively if they were okay.
Mango said the kids, Addison, 10, and Nicholas, six, told her they had been afraid in that moment Lewis, who Mango says the pair love like family, could be arrested.
‘They said they were scared that they would say the wrong thing and cause him to get arrested,’ she said.
Lewis was in the parking lot of a Walmart with the kids on Sunday when a woman approached and asked to check on the children.
When Lewis refused, the woman followed him to a gas station and then tailed him to his house before calling 911 to request a welfare check on the children.
Lewis, who runs an after-school mentoring center, filmed the entire ordeal on Facebook Live.
‘I’m babysitting right, I got two kids in the backseat with me, we just came from Subway and Walmart,’ he began in the first video.
‘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.’
Lewis said he refused to let the woman talk to the little girl, so she then followed him to the gas station.
He kept the camera trained on the woman’s car to show that it was waiting for him to make a move.
‘I see this lady is not moving, all because I got two kids in the backseat that do not look like me,’ Lewis said.
‘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.’
‘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.’
Lewis then returned home and filmed his interaction with a Cobb County police officer who the woman had called to check on the children.
‘I’m being followed and harassed,’ Lewis tells the cop. ‘I got two kids I’m babysitting.’
‘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 continues.
‘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.’
The police officer then asks to speak with the children himself and the boy and girl get out of the car and tell the officer that Lewis is babysitting them.
‘He’s babysitting us,’ the 10-year-old girl tells the officer, explaining they went to Catch Air, an indoor play facility, before going to Subway for dinner that day.
‘Then this lady started following us,’ she added.
Lewis then explains he runs an after-school mentoring program, called ‘Inspired by Lewis’. He was even wearing a shirt advertising his business that day.
‘I work with kids every day, even on my off days,’ he tells the cop.
The officer explains that he is just responding to the 911 call to make sure everything is fine. He then asks Lewis why he is filming their interaction.
‘I’m letting the world know what’s really going on,’ Lewis says. ‘I can’t even step out into the community without being profiled.’
‘It is what it is,’ the officer replies.
The matter was resolved when the cop called Mango and Parker.
‘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.
Speaking to GMA, Mango said the officer was ‘apologetic’ when they spoke.
‘I think he was embarrassed. He saw what was happening pretty quickly, and after he spoke to me and confirmed that everything was all right, he let them go,’ she said.
The parents said their son attends Lewis’ mentoring program and they had arranged for him to watch the children.
Parker fumed that Lewis had been targeted for ‘babysitting while black’.
The identity of the woman who called police remains unclear.
Lewis launched his mentoring program to ‘provide enrichment to socially challenged youth’, according to the Inspired By Lewis website.
The organization aims to help children by ‘promoting positive character development, self-awareness, and life skills’.
Lewis has worked with students in emotional and behavioral disorder classrooms, as well as homeless youth, foster kids, and children whose parents have been incarcerated.
Mango said her children adored Lewis, and were excited to have him back with them.
‘After this ordeal on Sunday night the first thing the kids asked was, ‘When can he come babysit us again,’ she said.
SOURCE: DailyMail, by HANNAH MOORE and ANNETA KONSTANTINIDES and KEITH GRIFFITH