In the community

Police called on Black family in Ontario, raising concerns of racism

ONTARIO – The mother with her newborn baby strapped to her chest watched her young children zoom happily across the grounds of Aiken Elementary School on their toy four-wheelers.

Suddenly, two police cars appeared, converging on the family.

Cydney Cooke, the mother, was stunned to learn a passerby had called police, reporting her children.

To her, it was another instance where she suspected her family’s race – Black – may have triggered the call in June.

“On arrival I found several children, the oldest around age 5, with toy 4-wheelers,” according to the Ontario Police Department report on the call. “I had to walk close enough to verify the largest toy was a toy, which made the parents upset and feel they were being harassed.”

“The family was Black, and their frustration was understandable,” the officer wrote in his report. “I cleared without action. Aiken school grounds has children playing . . .