Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Economy | By

White Woman Calls Cops On Black AirBnb Users For Not 'Waving' Back

White Woman Calls Cops On Black AirBnb Users For Not 'Waving' Back

Prendergast, a filmmaker, actress and activist, was in California for the "We Will Rise Together" event when she and her companions, all black, were confronted by four officers as they were leaving the property after a neighbor reportedly called authorities when they spotted the group exiting the home with their luggage.

On a separate Facebook account belonging to a user named Kells Fyffe-Marshall, a video shows at least four police vehicles around the women's auto.

"The officers came out of their cars demanding us to put our hands in the air".

A trip to California turned sour for a group of Black filmmakers last week after they said they were swarmed by police and detained for 45 minutes after a neighbor called the cops on them, thinking they were robbers. But the threats police calls can present for black people are rarely a laughing matter.

Fyffe-Marshall said in a Facebook post that "about 20 minutes into this misunderstanding it escalated nearly instantly".

CNN contacted Fyffe-Marshall, who said her attorney, who also is representing the other two women, told them not to comment at this time. The trio began packing their luggage into their auto and preparing to leave, but to the neighbor watching on, the three black women looked like thieves attempting a getaway with stolen property. The guests said they plan to sue the Rialto Police Department over what they say was an excessive response to an alleged racially motivated 911 call.

The videos show Officer Nick Besheer repeatedly joking with the women, and reacting with excitement that one of them was Marley's granddaughter and that they were in town from Canada, where Besheer was born.

She added that the sergeant who later arrived at the scene told the women he had never heard of Airbnb and "insisted" they were "lying" about it. The trauma is real. "I've been angry, fustrated and sad", Fyffe-Marhsall wrote.

The human anatomy camera footage released by the Rialto Police Department Tuesday shows a laid-back and sometimes light hearted interaction involving the band they had pulled over, which comprised the grand daughter of reggae legend Bob Marley.

In another Instagram post, Pendergast writes, "Got surrounded by the police for being black in a white neighbourhood". We won't stand aside and look.

The Airbnb guests were already en route to their next destination when several police cars arrived, boxing the vehicle in and creating a perimeter around the neighborhood.Rialto police Lt. Dean Hardin said a helicopter was called, but was cancelled before it arrived.

But Kelly Fyffe-Marshall, who wrote the Facebook post and is a filmmaker, has alleged that racial profiling seems to be at the heart of the incident.

The group was then released without incident, police said.

"At no time during the encounter did officers use any form of restraints with the involved people", a press release from the Rialto Police Department reads in part. "We felt our officers acted professionally". Fyffe-Marshall and another woman, Komi-Oluwa Olafimihan, were also listed on the legal notification with Prendergast. Last week, a Black couple in Texas had the cops called on them for refusing to move from their seats for a white patron to sit in their place.

"We met with Airbnb after the Atlanta mishap occurred and told them that what happened to us isn't an isolated incident", Grant said in an interview.

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