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Police Tell Black Family That Neighbour’s Racial Slurs And Monkey Noises Are ‘Not Criminally Actionable’

by : Hannah Smith on : 29 Sep 2021 18:38
Police Tell Black Family That Neighbour's Racial Slurs And Monkey Noises Are 'Not Criminally Actionable'Alamy

A family whose lives have been made ‘miserable’ by a neighbour say the police told them the use of racial slurs and monkey noises is ‘not criminally actionable’.

Jannique Martinez and her family moved into their ‘dream’ home in a suburban neighbourhood in Virginia Beach, Virginia, five years ago, but she said they have since been targeted by ‘harassment’ and ‘surveillance’ by a male neighbour whenever they leave or return to their house.

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Martinez, who is Black, said the harassment initially began with blinking lights and loud music that would play whenever her family or others in the neighbourhood returned home, with the sensor-activated music reportedly changed ‘based on the family that is activating the music’.

Jannique Martinez' neighbourhood (KRQE News 13/Facebook)KRQE News 13/Facebook

‘We are all on surveillance 24/7 with cameras in every direction of his home’ Martinez told CNN, adding that the harassment soon began to take on a racist dimension directly targeting her and her family.

‘My husband parked his truck on the street in front of his house, which is city property, and instead of music, he started playing monkey noises,’ she said, adding that after they called the police on him, the neighbour has been playing recording of ‘N***** skits,’ from comedy routines making fun of Black people.

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Yet incredibly, in a statement to CNN, Virginia Beach Police Department said that they were unable to take action against the man.

Virginia Beach Police say they've been unable to take action (Alamy)Alamy

They said:

The observed conduct has been reviewed with the City Attorney for potential criminal sanctions; however, it was determined that the activity, though appalling, is not criminally actionable.

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Martinez says that her family is ‘heartbroken’ at the situation, and that she’s none the wiser as to his reasons for the harassment. ‘He can’t be wrong in the eyes of the law. He doesn’t care about the morals,’ she said. ‘It feels hopeless and sad. I’m so drained.’

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: News, harassment, neighbours, Racism, Virginia

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CNN
  1. CNN

    A family says their neighbor plays recordings of racial slurs and monkey noises. Police say that's 'not criminally actionable'