by Jan Mabry

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — “Weak game” or a “dangerous phone thief” are dueling perceptions in the latest salvo over white gentrification and racial profiling of blacks in Oakland neighborhoods.

A Twitter post of a flyer warning the neighbors of Cleveland Street about a man asking for a woman’s phone number has drawn fire from people who say the poster makes racist assumptions about a guy who may have been simply flirting.

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The woman who posted the flyer warns people to look out for an African American with dreads and a dirty hoodie walking a pit bull, who allegedly asked if “he could give me his number.” She says the act was presumably to steal her phone, and notes that the man may have an accomplice working with him because she saw an old Buick down the street.

“BE AWARE” says the poster, after confirming she called the police and requested surveillance.

The encounter allegedly happened on October 12, around 8:30 a.m.

The poster warning Cleveland St. neighbors comes on the heels of a statement from Nirav Tolia, co-founder of Nextdoor.com about racial profiling. He was responding to an article in the East Bay Express that white neighbors were using the site to report “suspicious activity” about black neighbors and warnings when black people walked through their neighborhood.


CBSSF.com writer, producer Jan Mabry is also executive producer and host of The Bronze Report. She lives in Northern California. Follow her on Twitter @janmabr.

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