Business is good for 12-year-old Reggie Fields, but it took an encounter with the cops to get it there.
Reggie owns and operates Mr. Reggie’s Lawn Cutting Service with his brothers, sisters and cousins. Over the weekend, the little team was working on Lucille Holt-Colden’s lawn in Maple Heights, Ohio — about 13 miles southeast of Cleveland — when the cops showed up.
Holt-Colden told the Washington Post that her neighbors had called authorities because the kids unknowingly clipped a small section of their lawn. She recorded the incident and posted it to Facebook, where it quickly went viral.
“They called the police to tell the police that the kids was cutting their grass,” Holt-Colden says in the clip. “Who does that? Who calls the police for everything?” She added, “I guess I have a line where part of it is now my yard. They called the police to tell the police that the kids was cutting (their) grass.”
“They said I was cutting their grass. I didn’t know it!” said the 12-year-old.
This was not the first time these particular neighbors called the authorities on kids. Holt-Colden told WaPo that a snowball fight between her own kids had also been reported last winter. “If the kids were white,” she said of Reggie and his family members, “they would not have called.”
Holt-Colden explained to WaPo how she had run into the small business owners at the local Dollar Tree when they were buying lawn bags. She hired them on the spot, thinking it would be a good idea to keep this group of black kids off the street and engaged in entrepreneurial endeavors.
Luckily, the majority of people seem to agree. Many of the 400,000 people who viewed her Facebook video reportedly sent her messages asking how they could help.
“People are inboxing me like, ‘how can I get in touch with this children? Where are they at? I got property I want these kids to cut,’” Holt-Colden told WEWS-TV. Now, Reggie and his team are getting calls from all over the Cleveland area.
He told the station he plans to save his money to put it back into the business. “Just give me a call. I will be there,” he said. “On time!” Holt-Colden even set up a GoFundMe page to help the team raise money for their business. They’ve already exceeded their goal of $1000 by over $25,000, and now have enough supplies and storage to become “like a mini Home Depot.”
Reggie is just the latest perpetrator of the ‘crime’ that has become known as #LivingWhileBlack. More and more often lately, African-Americans are having the cops called on them for engaging in completely innocent and lawful activities. Just this year, black people have had the cops called on them for barbecuing, swimming at a public pool, and selling water bottles outside of their own homes — this last one applies to an eight-year-old.
The only bright spot in this depressing trend is the fact that maybe for the first time in history, people are caring enough to punish racists. And if you live in the Cleveland area and need a lawn trim, make sure to give Reggie a call.