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Shelia Stubbs has cops called on her in Wisconsin neighborhood

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Protestors rally outside the Wisconsin State Capitol in 2011.
Protesters
rally outside the Wisconsin State Capitol in
2011.

Scott Olson/Getty
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  • A black candidate for Wisconsin’s state assembly had the
    police called on her while she was canvassing with her mother and
    daughter in a predominantly white community in Madison. 
  • Sheila Stubbs, who went on to win the primary election a week
    later, was talking with voters and handing out campaign materials
    when police arrived to question her. 
  • “It was just so degrading,” Stubbs said of being racially
    profiled. “It was humiliating. It was insulting.”

Shelia Stubbs, a 46-year-old black candidate for the Wisconsin
state assembly, was canvassing with her 71-year-old mother
and 8-year-old daughter in a predominantly white
neighborhood in Madison when a community member called the police
to report her.

The man who called the cops reported his suspicion that the three
were engaged in drug-related activity.  

“THINKS THEY ARE WAITING FOR DRUGS AT THE LOCAL DRUG HOUSE –
WOULD LIKE THEM MOVED ALONG,” the notes from the 911 call
read. 

Stubbs, who has spent 12 years on the Dane County Board of
Supervisors, was knocking on doors and handing her campaign
materials out to neighborhood voters on the August evening when
the police arrived to question her. 

“It was just so degrading,” Stubbs, who went on to win the
primary election the following week,
told the Cap Times
of the incident. “It was humiliating. It
was insulting … I didn’t do anything to make myself stand out.
I felt like they thought I didn’t belong there.”

Stubbs declined to disclose in which neighborhood she was
canvassing when the cops were called (the information was not
revealed in the police report), but noted that it was a
predominantly white community. 

Stubbs does not face a Republican opponent in the general
election and is set to become the first-ever black representative
of Dane County in the state legislature. She described the
experience of being racially profiled as one of the most
difficult of her life. 

“I’ve worked so hard. This is something I’ve always wanted,” she
said. “I wasn’t going to allow someone to take that, but it puts
a hole in your heart, and it takes so long to mend it.”

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