In the continual reports of white people calling 911 on Black people for doing ordinary things, a Black real estate investor was reported to authorities for doing his job.
In Memphis, Tenn., Michael Hayes tried to take photos of a rundown house for which he had a contract to repair and then sell to investors. A white woman in a neighboring home questioned him and then called the police as if he were trying to commit burglary.
Hayes filmed a video of the encounter earlier this month and posted it on YouTube. This week, it’s making its rounds on social media and going viral with more than 1,800,000 views.
Hayes had with him an investment contract giving him permission to work on the home, as well as written permission that he received from the homeowner to be on the property.
When an officer arrived on the scene, Hayes explained to him why he was there.
“Even if you are inside the residence, and have a perceived burglary, unless I’ve got a victim and owner, I can’t prosecute,” the officer says.
Hayes responds, “Do you mind telling her that because I really don’t want her behind me. I honestly feel threatened.”
He adds, “If there’s a way that I can do this, I’d like to file a complaint against her She came out and threatened to call the police on me and was screaming and shouting.”
Hayes says in the video that another officer showed up, as well as other neighbors who were in support of him. Also, one of the officers called the owner of the home he was supposed to repair.
An officer tells Hayes that if he had any more problems with the woman to contact them, “And she will go to jail today.”
Police ask her to let Hayes do his job and also give her a warning.
The woman tells the officers that he can do his job but then tells Hayes, “Hurry up, do it, and get out!”
“This is what we go through,” Hayes says in the video. “[I’m] a young, Black man out here trying to do what’s right.”