"I Felt Humiliated."


Shelia Stubbs -- a longtime political activist in Madison, Wisconsin, -- was in a car with family members, canvassing for her state assembly bid, when she was approached by cops. Someone reported Stubbs, thinking she was involved in a drug deal, The Cap Times reported Wednesday.


Back in August, Stubbs, a 46-year-old African American, was driving around a majority-white neighborhood with her 71-year-old mother, who drove the car, and her 8-year-old daughter. Stubbs was knocking on doors and introducing herself to voters as a candidate when police arrived on the scene and questioned Stubbs regarding her activities.


The female responding officer said that she was following up on a report of a vehicle occupied by three black individuals who might be involved in drug activity, according to a police report obtained by The Cap Times.


In an interview with CBS Evening News that aired on Wednesday, Stubbs said that she explained to the officer that she was canvassing the area. The officer then asked Stubbs how she knew which houses to go to. A seasoned public servant who served for over a decade in a local board, Stubbs replied that she had a walk list of eligible voters and showed it to the officer. According to Stubbs, the officer looked over the list, apparently realized the mistake, and said "I am so sorry this happened to you."


"It shouldn't be strange that a black woman's knocking on your door," Stubbs told The Cap Times. "I didn't do anything to make myself stand out. I felt like they thought I didn't belong there."


Stubbs was the second black, female political activist to be recently stopped by police for simply campaigning door to door. Back in July, Oregon State Senator Janelle Bynum was campaigning for reelection when the law was called on her.

And this is symptomatic of something bigger: Just this year police have ​responded to reports of people ​barbecu​ing​swimming, and even ​delivering newspapers, all while black. These reports have often been made by ​white tipsters suspecting that ​trespassing or other illegal behavior has taken place on their watch.


As for Stubbs, she said of the ordeal, "I've worked so hard. This is something I've always wanted. 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," according to The Cap Times.


"I felt Humiliated, I felt outraged, I felt angry, I felt embarrassed," she said.

One week after the incident, Stubbs ​won the Democratic primary election, gaining nearly fifty percent of the vote. She is currently running unopposed to represent the 77th District in the Wisconsin Assembly, making her the de-facto winner of the general election. When she takes her seat in January of 2019, Stubbs will be first black state assemblywoman to represent the district. 


While Stubbs did not get the chance to speak to the man who called the police on her, she ​told The Cap Times that if they're listening, she would ask why they thought she didn’t belong in his neighborhood. “I belong where I choose to go. You don’t have to like me. You don’t even have to respect me," she said. "But I have a right to be places.”


"I want him to know that I made it. I survived. I am now your representative," she told CBS News.


Adam Johnson is an editorial intern at Pluralist.

You can reach him on Twitter @4DAMDAVID