This is the first time I’ve heard about these dehydrated strawberry-looking bugs called lanternflies. Reports say they are an invasive species and experts advise us to kill them on sight (which…you didn’t have to tell me). One 9-year-old girl from Caldwell, NJ fixed up a homemade remedy to kill them and sprayed the mixture around her neighbor’s yards to help them out.
Bobbi Wilson created a solution of dish soap and apple cider vinegar to spray the trees and sidewalks of her neighborhood just days ahead of Halloween. It would’ve surely kept the pesky things from flying in kids’ faces as they went trick-or-treating. Though, someone didn’t see Wilson’s actions as innocent. Wilson’s mother, Monique Joseph alleged their neighbor, Gordon Lawshe, called 911 on the girl, giving a threatening description of Wilson’s harmless act.
More on the incident from NJ.com:
In the Oct. 22 police call, the neighbor told dispatchers, “There’s a little Black woman, walking, spraying stuff on the sidewalks and trees. … I don’t know what the hell she’s doing, scares me though,” according to Joseph’s account to the council.
Joseph said her neighbor, Gordon Lawshe, used triggering words during the 911 call when he reported he was “scared,” and that Bobbi was wearing a “hood.” Those words have resulted in the deaths of Black and brown people at the hands of police before, Joseph said.
Joseph gave the recount of the incident at a Caldwell Borough Council meeting this month to advise the council of the incident and concern of racial bias. She said the police officer handled the situation well, however, his presence managed to frighten Wilson.
Joseph said she was afraid to even step outside the next day.
Wilson’s older sister, Hayden, made a valid point when she addressed the council: Lawshe didn’t have to call the police.
Instead, he did something much more malicious, whether he meant it maliciously or not. Lawshe’s attorney told The Daily Beast his client did not racially profile Wilson and that her claim to be afraid of the police is “absurd.”
We’ve seen a girl younger than Wilson get pepper sprayed by police for throwing a tantrum. Plus, kids are exposed to police brutality through social media on a daily basis. Disregarding the blatant racial bias police have toward the Black youth is not only ignorant but dangerous when it becomes standard to call 911 on a Black child.