HOUSTON - A recorded controversial confrontation in River Oaks from Saturday is now gaining national attention online.
In the video, a woman is seen telling a black man he doesn’t belong in her neighborhood and eventually calls the police. The man now identified as Isaac Perkins, a Houston native, works for the U.S. Census Bureau.
“You’re in front of my neighbor’s house and you need to leave,” said the woman on video. “Who are you? Is your name Karen?” he responded.
Perkins says he had been in the neighborhood working for the Census on Saturday, but he never told the concerned homeowner in River Oaks. In an interview Monday, we asked him if he thinks the incident would have been different if he had identified himself as a census worker.
“I don't think so,” Perkins responded. “The reason I decided not to tell her who I was, or where I who working with, was I didn't know who she was.”
According to Perkins, he started recording on Saturday after he noticed the homeowner with her phone.
“Every day that I’ve been working with the Census Bureau almost, I’ve been working in [River Oaks],” said Perkins. “I kind of expected that someone was going to challenge why I was here at some point just because me being African American in a predominantly white neighborhood.”
On Monday, we parked in the same area of the River Oaks neighborhood and were also questioned by the same homeowner within minutes. After telling her why we were there, she agreed to speak with us on camera.
“He turned it into a black issue,” said the homeowner. “It wasn’t as far as I was concerned.”
Houston police did respond to the calls made on Saturday, but no charges were made.
Both the homeowner and Perkins agreed to meet peacefully on Monday, but the meeting didn’t take place.
“She might approach everyone and ask them what they’re doing over here, but it’s the matter of which she approached me which made me feel alarmed,” said Perkins.
“He didn’t tell me that [he works for the Census],” said the homeowner. “That’s all he had to say. I would have been fine.”