Police officers in Tennessee defended a black real estate investor after a white woman called 911 on him.
Michael Hayes is a real estate investor who was visiting Memphis to look at homes.
“I was at a house I had under contract to do an inspection, get some pictures,” Hayes told WMC.
Hayes owns his own company called Hayes Investment Deals.
He was pulling boards off of the windows when a neighbor came outside and asked what he was doing. He showed her his sign in the front yard and told her he had the paperwork.
But the neighbor, Tiffany Albert, wasn’t satisfied with the explanation and called the police.
“She was saying things like I have no right to be there,” Hayes said. “What am I doing in the neighborhood. Get your sign and go.”
Albert argued that the house was boarded up because people had been using it to use drugs, and didn’t want the boards removed.
Two police officers soon arrived at the house and spoke with Hayes. When they realized he was on a business visit, they told Albert he was allowed to be there.
“We’re going to let him do his job,” the officers said. Albert was unhappy and told Hayes to “hurry up.”
Hayes commended the officers and how they handled the situation.
— WMC Action News 5 (@WMCActionNews5) May 16, 2018
“Understand what’s going on now in America with people calling the police on people for no reason,” Hayes said. “I understand that could have went completely different way. When they came out there they made me feel safe.”
Albert told WMC that her calling the police wasn’t racist, and noted she would support the house being renovated. Hayes hasn’t decided whether to invest in the house as of yet.
“I’m Spanish,” Albert said. “My boyfriend is black. It’s nothing racist about it.”
Hayes’ video of the incident has been viewed over one million times. After finishing the inspection, he recorded another video in which he says he believes Albert called the police because he is black, the Daily Mail noted.
“I don’t look threatening,” he said. “I keep my business cards on me. I keep contracts on me. I keep signs on me, just so people will know, ‘Hey. I’m here to look at a house.’ But at the end of the day, she just did not want me in her neighborhood.”
Real estate agents in Texas told Fox 26 that the incident made them upset.
“I am more than pissed off,” said Mish Guillory.
“You know what we do for a living? We meet with strangers and we go into empty houses. It’s dangerous anyway. Now we have to worry about this crazy lady with the cats, watching Family Feud and peeping out of windows and making phone calls.”