A White woman, who called the police on a Black man standing outside his rented home in Washington, claimed her actions had “nothing to do with race” in the wake of the incident.
During the interaction that was filmed, the unidentified White woman asked Dayson Barnes and his partner to prove that they had indeed rented the property after she accused the Black man of not living there, The Seattle Times reported.
“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,” the woman was heard telling Barnes and his partner in the video.
Barnes told the news outlet that the woman who confronted him on Wednesday lived in the neighborhood, adding that he had seen her before. The Black man also said he was in his home’s backyard when the woman drove by their home. The couple had been living in their rented home for about three weeks, and Barnes said several other neighbors spotted their U-Haul truck while they were moving into the home.
And though Barnes said they initially exchanged waves, “as a normal neighbor would,” he realized the woman drove back and stopped in front of his home.
Barnes subsequently went to meet the woman. But when he asked her if she wanted something, the Black man said the woman told him that she knew the occupant(s) of the home and accused him of not living there, The Seattle Times reported. He also said the woman went ahead to call 911 after telling him that he wasn’t supposed to be on the property.
It was around that time when Barnes went indoors to take his phone to record the incident and also notify his partner about what was happening. Barnes also said the woman’s attitude changed after his White partner came outside.
“I’m a Black man, and me being out there alone and for me to go inside to get my white boyfriend, she felt she was in the wrong I guess and that there was a misunderstanding,” said Barnes. “I did get the sense of her trying to save face for herself and brush it under the rug.”
King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Zoe Birkbeck said deputies shortly responded to the scene after they received “reports of a potential residential burglary.”
“Before arriving on scene, dispatch advised responding deputies that the caller said that it was a misunderstanding however now a verbal disturbance had ensued,” Birkbeck said via email.
The video showed Barnes’ partner accusing the woman of reporting his partner to the police because “she saw a Black man walk in the house.” But the woman replied saying, “Oh my gosh this has nothing to do with race.”
Barnes also reiterated his partner’s claim. “It was obviously a race thing,” he told The Seattle Times.
“I was standing in the backyard and she perceived me as some thug,” Barnes said. “I was wearing a hoodie because it’s cold that morning, a black hoodie, and she thought I shouldn’t be there, I was stealing from the house.”
Barnes said he and his partner relocated to Seattle from Texas, adding that he was racially profiled on multiple occasions while he was living there. But he said Wednesday’s incident was the first time someone called the police on him after moving to Washington.
“I didn’t think I’d have to experience this outside of the South,” Barnes said. “I left the South to make these things obsolete.”