Person who called police on Dane County candidate: ‘So, so very sorry’

UPDATE (WKOW) — Shelia Stubbs responded to the anonymous letter calling it an “inauthentic apology.”

27 News received a letter Monday purportedly from the person who called police on Stubbs as she was canvassing in his neighborhood. Stubbs, a black woman, is running for the 77th Assembly District. The canvassing was a part of her campaign leading up to the Democratic primary in August.

27 News gave Stubbs a copy of the letter Monday afternoon.

“I think that I have some concerns about this letter,” she said, immediately after reading it. “I think that an authentic apology would be face to face.”

Stubbs went on to say while she feels for the caller if he truly has lost sleep over the incident or fearing for his life as he describes, but that doesn’t change the way she and her family felt when they saw an officer approaching. Her mother and daughter were in the car at the time.

“I had to quickly think,” she said. “There’s my eight-year-old confused, my mom’s upset from what happened and I have to walk up and I have to figure out very quickly what happened and then walk away and at the same time being humiliated.”

Stubbs said one of the most difficult parts of the experience was explaining to her daughter why police questioned her mother and grandmother.

“I have to keep saying that’s what Mommy’s going to work hard on,” she said. “So things are going to get better for you so you don’t have to go through the same things Mommy went through.”

Stubbs is running unopposed after winning August’s primary election. She is expected to become the first black General Assembly Representative for Dane County.

As for the caller, Stubbs said she’s still willing to accept his apology on one condition.

“If that person’s out there, I would be honored to meet with you,” she said.

Stubbs said even a month later, this incident has left her family shaken and this letter is just another chapter in that experience.

She still maintains none of this would have happened if she was white.


MADISON (WKOW) — A letter delivered to 27 News Monday is purportedly from the person who called police on an African-American candidate canvassing in his neighborhood recently. The letter is an apology to that candidate, Dane County Supervisor Shelia Stubbs.

Stubbs says she was humiliated after a constituent called police on her while she was canvassing for the 77th Assembly District leading up to the Democratic primary in August.

In the one-page, typed and unsigned letter, the author said that they wanted to make it clear that they called police because of a car that had been parked in the same spot for a while.

“I called on the car, not you,” read the letter. “I never saw you before the call. If I had, I would not have made the call.”

“Once I saw you talking to the officer, I realized that I never needed to make the call,” the letter continued, “but I never called the police on you, on a woman of color in the neighborhood.”

Stubbs had not seen the apology letter as of Monday afternoon but says the ordeal has been trying.

“It’s been very traumatic for my family. It’s been embarrassing. I was publicly humiliated,” Stubbs told 27 News after learning about the letter.

According to the original call to Dane County Communications obtained by 27 News, the caller was concerned the car was waiting for a drug dealer in a house up the street.

“I think the drug dealers up the street aren’t home now, so there’s been a car parked around the corner for like a half an hour with a bunch of people in it,” the caller told the dispatcher.

The caller then explained to dispatch about the house.

“It’s active all night long and when the drug dealers aren’t home, cars just park up and down the street waiting for them to come home,” he said. “It’s been an issue for quite some time.”

When asked for a description of the vehicle, the caller said, “I’m trying not to look because they keep staring at me. It’s like a silver, four-door sedan, rather new.”

The dispatcher then told the caller he would pass the information along to the beat officer.

“The squeaky wheel gets the grease so keep calling when you see something like that,” the dispatcher said.

Stubbs says she’s now trying to explain what happened to her 8-year-old daughter.

“My daughter, I’m trying to explain it to her. She doesn’t know what a drug dealer is, so I have to explain this all to her.”

Stubbs tells 27 News she’d like to see the letter and possibly meet the person who wrote it.

“I’m a forgiving person. I’ve always been a forgiving person in my heart.”

In the letter, the writer says he hasn’t been able to sleep, and now feels he must remain anonymous.

Read the full letter received by 27 News here:

Dear Sheila Stubbs,

First, it was me.

Secondly, let me say that I am so sorry for your encounter with the police.

I wanted to call you once this all started, but now it is clear that I need to keep my identity out of this as I have quickly become a hated person and fear for my safety.

I will try to be clear, but have not slept the last couple of nights.

I want you to know that I completely understand what you are saying about the experience. Again, so, so very sorry.

But please, you need to know, to understand, that I never called the police ON YOU. I did call the non-emergency number (I did not call 911) to report a car that had been sitting in the same spot for a while with people in it. A lot of people in this city do that, and we are encouraged to.

Here is the thing I really want you to know: I never even saw you until after the police arrived. I never saw you on the sidewalk, at the house, or anywhere else, until after the police arrived.

Once I saw you talking to the officer, I realized that I never needed to make the call,  but I never called the police on you, on a woman of color in the neighborhood.

This is supported by the call to the police, and what they have released mentions a car, not a woman. I called on a car, not you.

I never saw you before the call. If I had, I would not have made the call.

The story I see every minute now is that some racist called 911 on a black woman in a mostly white neighborhood. People say they are sickened by this. I am sickened by it and I did not event do it.

I am not sure where to go from here. You are welcome to present this letter to the nation. They have your side, you are free to give them mine.

How do we, you, get back to what I actually did? The police must have a more complete record of the call. I probably should share this letter with the media. I can’t reveal myself as there is so much hate directed at the person who called 911 on you, which, I hope you understand now, never happened. Maybe one day, you seem pretty awesome, and I am not the jerk the nation thinks I am.



Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak

Social Media and Digital Content Manager, 27 News

Top Stories

Connect 27 News
Top Stories
Scroll to top
Skip to content