A black 12-year-old boy quietly doing his paper round in suburban Columbus, Ohio, US, was questioned by police after a neighbour called the authorities on the boy.

The neighbour saw the boy get out of a van and walk up to a few homes. At first, the neighbour admits she assumes the boy was delivering newspapers but she then became suspicious.

"I noticed they were walking up to houses with nothing in hand and one of them came back with something," the 911 caller told WSYX-TV. "It seemed kind of suspicious."

The boy, Uriah Sharp, was actually just collecting newspapers he'd accidentally delivered to the wrong addresses earlier in the day.

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His mum, Brandie Sharp, explained that she'd taken him to help with the pick up.

It didn't take long for police to determine that the mother's story was true.

First day of paper route and we are pulled over by police🚔🚔...Sad I cant even teach my son the value of working without...

Posted by Bmai Love on Friday, 6 July 2018

"First day of paper route and we are pulled over by the police," the mother wrote in a Facebook post.

"Sad I cant even teach my son the value of working without someone whispering and looking at us out the side of their eye perhaps because we DON'T 'look like a person that belongs in their neighborhood'."

The mother added that she would change their paper route to avoid the neighborhood.

This is not the first time police in the US has responded to calls that turned out to be just cases of racial bias.

The police department in Ohio issued a statement shortly after this incident, raising this issue.

"We have seen some conversations on Facebook relative to a police response to a report of suspicious activity that turned out to be completely benign," officials wrote.