This veteran was working in a yogurt shop when employees got 'scared' and called the cops.

Byron Ragland was sitting in a Menchie's yogurt shop doing his job and harming no one when the police arrived.

In yet another #LivingWhileBlack incident, the Seattle Times reports that yet another paranoid phone call to the police has resulted in yet another humiliating and unjust experience for yet another unsuspecting black person in America.  

U.S. Air Force veteran and court-appointed visitation supervisor Byron Ragland was sitting in a Kirkland, Washington Menchie's frozen yogurt shop supervising a visit between a woman and her 12-year-old son, when two employees called the shop owner to tell him they felt "scared." The owner then looked at surveillance camera footage, which showed Ragland sitting at a table and looking back and forth from his phone to the employees—who from the sounds of it appeared to be watching him—and decided to call the police.

Ragland's job is to be with families during a court-ordered visitation, making sure nothing goes awry. The mother and son had wanted ice cream, so they went to Menchie's. The only "suspicious" thing Ragland did was not order anything; he was simply there as an observer, waiting and monitoring while this mother and son had their visitation.

“Just being a fly on the wall type of thing is what I do,” Ragland told KIRO 7 News. “Sit on back and just watch them visit, you know. Document the visit.”

The employees didn't know that, of course, because they were apparently too scared to approach a person sitting at a table on a cell phone in their yogurt shop to find out what he was doing.

A group supporting Ragland has launched a petition demanding that the Kirkland Police Department apologize to him for the incident.

The 911 call is laughable—and yet Ragland was asked to leave anyway.

Ramon Cruz, the owner of the Menchie's who called 911, didn't say that Ragland was armed, behaving aggressively, causing a scene, or disturbing other customers. He said his employees had said he hadn't ordered anything, had been sitting in the shop for over 30 minutes, and looked "suspicious." Cruz explained that they'd had incidents in the store before with homeless people shooting up drugs in the bathroom and that they'd been robbed. The employees were "scared."

Now, judging by what we can hear in the 911 call, the only thing that might appear odd is that Ragland didn't order anything. He did, however, arrive with the mother and son. They were still in the shop, so that should have been a clue. As far as looking up from his phone, that seems like a pretty reasonable thing to do when a someone keeps looking at you suspiciously.

At this point, perhaps it was all just an unfortunate misunderstanding. Surely the police would straighten things out and the man would be left to do his job, right?


Why didn't the Kirkland police tell the employees they'd been wrong and walk away?

When the officers showed up at Ragland's table, Ragland explained who he was and what he was doing. The mother and son spoke up and confirmed that he was there legally supervising their visit.

That should have been the end of it, in theory. “They asked me to leave,” Ragland told The Seattle Times. “They asked for my ID. They told me the manager had been watching me and wanted me to move along.”

The police report states Ragland and his "associates" left after the officers requested his full information and the names of the mother and son he was there to supervise. Now, perhaps it's police protocol to collect information and file a report any time they are called, but why should this man have to go through all of that when he was doing nothing but his job? Why didn't the police just go up to the shop staff and tell them they had nothing to worry about?

Sadly, for Ragland, this was "just another Wednesday."

“You listen to that 911 call. He says right in there that I’m not doing anything,” Ragland told The Seattle Times. “But that’s all it takes in America — for you to be black, and to be somewhere you’re not supposed to be. And where you’re supposed to be is not up to you. It’s up to somebody else’s opinion.”

Ragland said that although he was frustrated, as a black man he has to measure his response to such things.

“You want to stand up for yourself, as a man, or as someone who was just doing his job, and say ‘hey, this isn’t right.' But in the moment I’m thinking: ‘I’m a black man, and If I start emoting, I might not walk out of here.’ And so you rationalize to yourself: ‘What’s the big deal, it’s just Menchie’s, just leave.’ But then later, you realize that you gave in—that you consented that this is the way it’s going to be, to always be. Living this kind of mental life will drive a person insane.”

Ragland's response to hearing the 911 call afterward was initially anger, which, he told reporter Danny Westneat, he tempered into sadness so he wouldn't be seen as the Angry Black Man. When asked for his reaction to the incident, Ragland replied sadly, "My reaction is this is just another Wednesday."

“How would you feel hearing that you made people so scared and uncomfortable that they called the police?” he said. “For me, that’s just Wednesday. I try not to let it consume me. But it’s hard not to conclude that I walk around in a certain skin, and that’s all that matters.”

Heartbreaking. For the love of all that is just and reasonable, can we please stop calling the cops on black people for living their lives?


This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

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The story of Patricia and Leslie "LD" McWaters dying together might have both of those elements, but it is also tragic because they died of a preventable disease in a pandemic that hasn't been handled well. The Michigan couple, who had been married for 47 years, both died of COVID-19 complications on November 24th. Since they died less than a minute apart, their deaths were recorded with the exact same time—4:23pm.

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Courtesy of Macy's

Brantley and his snowman


"Would you like to build a snowman?" If you asked five-year-old Brantley from Texas this question, the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" While it may sound like a simple dream, since Texas doesn't usually see much snow, it seemed like a lofty one for him, even more so because Brantley has a congenital heart disease.

On Dec. 11, 2019, however, the real Macy's Santa and his two elves teamed up with Make-A-Wish to surprise Brantley and his family on his way to Colorado where there was plenty of snow for him to build his very own snowman, fulfilling his wish as part of the Macy's Believe campaign. After a joy-filled plane ride where every passenger got gift bags from Macy's, the family arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado where Santa and his elves helped Brantley build a snowman.

Brantley, Brantley's mom, and Santa marveling at their snowmanAll photos courtesy of Macy's

Brantley, who according to his mom had never actually seen snow, was blown away by the experience.

"Well, I had to build a snowman because snowmen are my favorite," Brantley said in an interview with Summit Daily. "All of it was my favorite part."

This is just one example of the more than 330,000 wishes the nonprofit Make-A-Wish have fulfilled to bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses since its founding 40 years ago. Even though many of the children that Make-A-Wish grants wishes for manage or overcome their illnesses, they often face months, if not years of doctor's visits, hospital stays and uncomfortable treatments. The nonprofit helps these children and their families replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

It's hardly an outlandish notion — research shows that a wish come true can help increase these children's resiliency and improve their quality of life. Brantley is a prime example.

"This couldn't have come at a better time because we see all the hardships that we went through last year," Brantley's mom Brandi told Summit Daily.

Brantley playing with snowballs

Now more than ever, kids with critical illnesses need hope. Since they're particularly vulnerable to disease, they and their families have had to isolate even more during the pandemic and avoid the people they love most and many of the activities that recharge them. That's why Make-A-Wish is doing everything it can to fulfill wishes in spite of the unprecedented obstacles.

That's where you come in. Macy's has raised over $132 million for Make-A-Wish, and helped grant more than 15,500 wishes since their partnership began in 2003, but they couldn't have done that without the support of everyday people. The crux of that support comes from Macy's Believe Campaign — the longstanding holiday fundraising effort where for every letter to Santa that's written online at or dropped off safely at the red Believe mailbox at their stores, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. New this year, National Believe Day will be expanded to National Believe Week and will provide customers the opportunity to double their donations ($2 per letter, up to an additional $1 million) for a full week from Sunday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 5.

There are more ways to support Make-A-Wish besides letter-writing too. If you purchase a $4 Believe bracelet, $2 of each bracelet will be donated to Make-A-Wish through Dec. 31. And for families who are all about the holiday PJs, on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), 20 percent of the purchase price of select family pajamas will benefit Make-A-Wish.

Elizabeth living out her wish of being a fashion designer

Additionally, this year's campaign features 6-year-old Elizabeth, a Make-A-Wish child diagnosed with leukemia, whose wish to design a dress recently came true. Thanks to the style experts at Macy's Fashion Office and I.N.C. International Concepts, only at Macy's, Elizabeth had the opportunity to design a colorful floral maxi dress. Elizabeth's exclusive design is now available online at and in select Macy's stores. In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, 20 percent of the purchase price of Elizabeth's dress (through Dec. 31) will benefit Make-A-Wish.You can also donate directly to Make-A-Wish via Macy's website.

This holiday season may be a tough one this year, but you can bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses by delivering hope for their wishes to come true.

via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

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via Elliot Page / Instagram

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