A black man who was babysitting was followed home from a Cobb County Walmart and reported for suspicious activity after he was seen with the two white children.
Corey Lewis, who runs an after-school mentoring program on Sandy Plains Road in Marietta, said a white woman spotted them eating at a Subway restaurant inside the store and followed him to a nearby gas station, then asked to speak with the children. She tailed him back to his house, where they were met by a Cobb County police officer.
Lewis streamed the interaction with the officer to Facebook Live on Sunday. Since then, the video has racked up more than 200,000 views and been shared more than 5,000 times.
“All because I’m black and have two white kids with me,” Lewis said on Facebook.
He tells the officer he is being followed and harassed, but the officer says he needs to speak with the children to make sure his story checks out.
“At this point in time it’s ... like an OK check, to make sure everything is all right,” the officer says in the video.
One of the children, a young girl, tells the officer Lewis is their after-school caretaker and sometimes babysitter. She said they were eating dinner at Subway after a trip to Catch Air, an indoor play facility.
Lewis tries to explain to the officer he works in childcare and was wearing a shirt promoting his business at the time. The officer asks why he is recording.
“I’m letting the world know what’s really going on,” Lewis is heard saying in the video. “It’s 2018, I can’t step out into the community without being profiled.”
The officer appears to be sympathetic, if not apologetic.
“It is what it is,” he tells Lewis. “Do you understand?”
Lewis stops recording after the officer confirms that nothing is wrong. The 911 caller is never shown in the video, and it is unclear how the incident was resolved. AJC.com reached out to Cobb County police for comment.