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Cops Were Called On Bob Marley’s Granddaughter For ‘Not Waving Hello –

The filmmaker Donisha Prendergast and her friends filmmaker Kelly Fyffe-Marshall, and Afrofuturist artist Komi-Oluwa Olafimihan were racially profiled after a neighbor claimed they were robbing their Airbnb rental.

Prendergast, who is one of Bob Marley’s grandchildren, said an anonymous resident called the cops on the three women as they exited their Airbnb in Rialto, California. Cops then proceeded to arrest and detain the women, despite documentation proving they were legally renting the space. The police openly cast doubt upon their innocence even after they made a call to the host of the Airbnb, who confirmed their reservation.

Prendergast taped the whole incident, and shared it with her Instagram followers as yet another example of blatant racism in the U.S.

 

 

Despite the complete innocence of Prendergast and her friends, the owner of the Airbnb claims the anonymous white neighbor wouldn’t have made the call if the women had “smiled and waved.”

“If the kids had simply smiled at (my neighbor) and waved back and acknowledged her and said, ‘We’re just Airbnb guests checking out,’ none of this would have ever happened. But instead, they were rude, unkind, not polite,” the Airbnb host said.

 

 

Upon receiving the neighbor’s call, as many as seven police cars swarmed and surrounded the women. They were forced to put their hands above their heads, a helicopter hovered above them, they were asked for proof of the rental and then detained for 45 minutes.

In lieu of this awful (and obviously racist) treatment, the three artists held a press conference in Harlem on Thursday where they expressed their plans to press forward with a criminal investigation of the white neighbor who called the cops.

“We’re probably going to sue to get the 911 tapes,” Prendergast’s lawyer Ben Crump said Thursday.

“They [the police] didn’t do anything to properly discern the situation. They literally told these young black people that they had to prove their innocence, that they were guilty until proven innocent.”

 

STORY TIME: During our time in Cali we have been staying at an Airbnb. The 30th was our second morning and at about 11am we checked out. The four of us packed our bags, locked up the house and left. As you can see 3 of us were Black. About 10 seconds later we were surrounded by 7 cop cars. The officers came out of their cars demanding us to put our hands in the air. They informed us that there was also a helicopter tracking us. They locked down the neighborhood and had us standing in the street. Why? A neighbour across the street saw 3 black people packing luggage into their car and assumed we were stealing from the house. She then called the police. At first we joked about the misunderstanding and took photos and videos along the way. About 20 minutes into this misunderstanding it escalated almost instantly. Their Sergeant arrived… he explained they didn’t know what Airbnb was. He insisted that we were lying about it and said we had to prove it. We showed them the booking confirmations and phoned the landlord… because they didn’t know what she looked like on the other end to confirm it was her.. they detained us – because they were investigating a felony charge – for 45 minutes while they figured it out. He made me show my ID and made it clear I was being tagged. We have been dealing with different emotions and you want to laugh about this but it’s not funny. The trauma is real. I've been angry, fustrated and sad. This is insanity. The cops admit that the woman’s reason for calling the police was because we didn’t WAVE to her as she looked at us putting our luggage into our car from her lawn. But they pulled over three filmmakers! We documented it all!!!!! #wedidntwave #arighttoberight #racialprofiling #privilege #rightourstories #therevolution #whenyoupulloverfilmmakers @directedbykells @iamdonisha @komiolaf @ahutchphoto

A post shared by Kelly Fyffe-Marshall (@directedbykells) on

 

“There really is a huge problem with white people who call the police on black people for being black, and then police ask the black people to prove they’re innocent and have right to exist in space,” Crump concluded.

Hopefully, Prendergast, Fyffe-Marshall, and Olafimihan all receive justice for this traumatic instance of racism. On that same tip, hopefully the white neighbor learns a huge lesson about her own racial bias.

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