Oakland firefighter Kevin Moore, who is black, was doing vegetation-management inspections, in full uniform, with a radio and identification, when residents became suspicious and called police. According to a supervisor, the fire department sends out pamphlets before the inspections, hosts community meetings, and does everything else they can to spread the word. If nobody is home, the law permits firefighters to conduct an outdoor inspection anyway. One day last month, a resident called the police about Moore and another sent the cops video of Moore ringing a doorbell to do an inspection. Then last week, it happened again. From the San Francisco Chronicle
As Moore was finishing up, he said he turned around to find the resident outside near the front steps of the house, video-recording him on a cell phone.
“He kind of startled me,” Moore said. “He says, ‘Well, what are you doing here?’ I say, ‘We’re here doing our annual vegetation inspection.’ Then he asks for ID. I say no problem. He takes a picture of my ID and says I need to get a different one. I’ve had that ID for years. It’s kind of dark, and I’m more of a dark-skinned black guy, but you can still see me.”
Moore said he suggested that if the resident were still concerned, he could simply look out onto the street where “a big red fire engine is right there.”
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