NJ man calls police about Bobbi Wilson, black girl who killed lantern flies
Bobbi Wilson, a 9-year-old Black girl from Caldwell, New Jersey, says she was traumatized after her neighbor, Gordon Lawshe, who is a former City Council member, called the police on her because she was walking around the neighborhood spraying trees with pesticide for lanternflies.
Bobbi and her mom, Monique, were later able to meet with the Mayor to describe what happened.She said her daughter went outside alone to spray a solution she found on TikTok to help stop the spread of the invasive spotted lanternflies that were known to be a danger to trees and other plants.
But Lawshe, her 71-year-old neighbor who lives across the street called the cops.“There’s a little Black woman, walking, spraying stuff on the sidewalks and trees on Elizabeth and Florence. I don’t know what the hell she’s doing, scares me though,” Lawshe told police, according to The Progress.
The caller added that she’s a “real small woman” and that she’s “got a hood on.”Joseph commended the police officer who responded to the call but she said the incident still made her daughter afraid to go outside.My neighbor’s words put my daughter in harm’s way.
His words and actions were unconscionable, and the impact of the aftermath of this incident will not be kept secret. My 9-year-old daughter was afraid to go outside her front door the next day.
She was afraid that her neighbor whom she knows has a reason, unknown to her, to call the police on her,” she said during the council meeting.Bobbi’s 13-year-old sister, Hayden, also spoke about the incident while Bobbi was beside her.
She was not only doing something amazing for our environment, she was doing something that made her feel like a hero,” Hayden said. “I can confidently assure you that Bobbi will not forget this.
Moreover, Joseph requested a discussion with Lawshe after the city council meeting but he declined.
His lawyer, Greg Mascera, claimed Lawshe immediately apologized to Joseph twice, saying he did not recognize the girl. He also said he was not engaging in racial profiling.Meanwhile, the city of Caldwell’s Mayor John Kelley apologized for the incident.
I’m glad you shared this with us, with the public,” Kelley said, citing that he initially thought racism was not an issue in their city. “But clearly, I was wrong.
After reflecting on the story and learning more from the police report, it is clear that a line was crossed. My heart goes out to Monique and her two girls.”White neighbor called cops on black girl, 9, for chasing lanternflies across sidewalks and trees in racially-motivated act, child’s mom claims.