Northeast electric and gas company National Grid has reported an increase in upstate New Yorkers calling the authorities on their Black employees.
“National Grid has been made aware of an increase in members of the public calling 911 to report everyday work performed by company employees as suspicious activity,” the company said.
“The reports are occurring in parts of the company’s upstate New York service area and appear to be targeting National Grid employees of color."
In each instance, National Grid said the employees were driving a company vehicle, carrying their company ID and wearing company-issued clothing.
“Our employees work in the field every day maintaining the reliability of an energy system that is even more important than ever during this pandemic," National Grid Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Michael A. West said.
"These reports highlighting the targeting of African American and other ethnically diverse employees are very troubling, and the disconcerting nature of these 911 calls are unnecessarily disruptive to our work and the work being performed by local law enforcement."
West would not go into detail regarding the specific number of calls that had been made. He simply articulated that calls had been made in the past, but there was certainly an increase over the last few weeks. He added that the officers that were called quickly realized that there was “no issue here." West added that the increase in 911 calls had caused some issues internally, but would not go into detail.
“We take employee safety very seriously,” West said.
“We don’t want this to become a bigger trend."
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