MOUNT HEALTHY, Ohio (FOX19) - A misunderstanding about a false report led to a camaraderie between a Mount Healthy police officer and people at a local barber shop Friday night.
When Officer Colin Higgins responded to a call indicating a car was blocking the intersection of Kinney and Hamilton avenues near Precision Blendz barber shop in Mount Healthy, he didn’t find the violation that was reported. Instead, he found a group comprised mostly of black men standing at the corner.
It is unclear if the original call Higgins was responding to was simply a misunderstanding or fueled by prejudice.
Precision Blendz co-owner Tommy Mays said he and Higgins both knew it was a false report.
“I go on out there and all that was false. There was a police officer out there. He just got a phone call saying the street was blocked," Mays said. “He even said, ‘I’m out here for no reason.’”
Inside the barber shop, an event for Men of Courage — a national grassroots program designed to build communities by advancing the narrative of black men through storytelling — was being held. Sponsored by the Ford Fund based in Detroit, their top ambassador is former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis.
And Bettis was right inside.
The group invited Higgins into the shop. At first, he was hesitant, but when he found out Bettis was there, they pulled Bettis outside.
“The guy was like I don’t want to come, but then he said Jerome Bettis is in there, he lit up," Mays said. “He was [telling] us about his father was a Steelers fan and a big Jerome Bettis fan as well, so he would love to see him, he said, if his father was alive."
Mays said he appreciated Higgins stopping by and to learn more about showcasing how black men are seen in the public eye.
“We’re not negative. We’re not," Mays said. "Everything isn’t all about gun violence and killing and domestic violence and all that. We’re positive guys.”