Black Oregon lawmaker says constituent called cops on her for canvassing neighborhood

A black Oregon lawmaker says one of her constituents in the Portland area called the police on her as she was canvassing the neighborhood alone on Tuesday.

Democratic State Rep. Janelle Bynum, who is running for re-election in the fall, said she'd been knocking on doors and speaking with local residents for a couple of hours when a Clackamas County deputy approached her, The Oregonian reported.

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Upon seeing the officer, Bynum, 43, reportedly thought to herself, "I don't believe this."

She said the deputy — "who responded professionally" — asked her if she was selling something, to which Bynum replied that she was a state lawmaker canvassing the neighborhood.

The deputy said a woman had called the police to report that Bynum appeared to be spending a long period of time at houses while on her phone.

The state representative, who noted that she was on her second to last house from a list of about 30, said she often takes notes on her phone after speaking with constituents. She told the newspaper she only had her phone, a pen and campaign fliers with her.

"It's just bizarre," Bynum said. "It boils down to people not knowing their neighbors and people having a sense of fear in their neighborhoods, which is kind of my job to help eradicate."

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She added, "At the end of the day, it's important for people to feel like they can talk to each other to help minimize misunderstandings."

Bynum told The Oregonian she estimates she's knocked on more than 70,000 doors through the years in an effort to campaign; she said Tuesday's incident was the first time someone had reported her to police.

After Bynum asked to speak to the woman, the deputy connected the two by phone. The woman was reportedly apologetic.

Bynum said she wished the woman had contacted her personally to discuss her concern, rather than calling the police.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Department did not immediately return Fox News' request for comment.