Virginia Beach Police Don't Think Harassing Neighbors With Racist Epithets Is 'Criminally Actionable'
Jannique Martinez says their neighbor plays racist skits and monkey noises when they leave the house.
September 29, 2021 at 8:32 pm
A Black family in Virginia Beach said that, since moving into their new home, a racist neighbor has harassed them by playing recordings of racial slurs and monkey sounds. The family has accused local police of not being much help.
According to CNN, Jannique Martinez moved her family into the neighborhood five years ago, hoping to make a warm and friendly home in the cul-de-sac.
"The minute we found this home, I loved it," Martinez told the outlet. "It was everything I envisioned for my family and for raising my kids in a nice, quiet neighborhood."
The mother admits things at home turned hectic after their neighbor began taunting them by blinking their lights, playing loud music and yelling racial slurs and monkey noises.
"I'm not going to lie, if I had any imagination it would be like this, we would have not bought this house. I would never sign up for this," she said.
She continued, adding that the situation started with minor interruptions.
"We noticed a little erratic behavior like these blinking lights that are on a sensor. When my family or any other family leaves or returns to their homes, they all start to blink," Martinez said. "When the sensors are activated, loud music begins to play. He switches the music based on the family that is activating the music."
The monkey noises are the most recent addition to the taunting, she says.
"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 explained. "We are all on surveillance 24/7 with cameras in every direction of his home."
Once she and her husband began making complaints to the police about the behavior, Martinez says things started to go from bad to worse.
"Since that day he's been playing n****r skits that he found online," she said, adding that he plays skits that say, "Black people have nothing better to do but go to a comedy club on a Friday night," and, "Hey everyone, look it's n****r guy. Everyone say 'hi n****r guy.'"
"The situation is truly heartbreaking," Martinez said.
She told ABC 8 News that her neighbor continues to play music harassing others in the cul-de-sac, too.
Virginia Beach police say they are aware of the ongoing situation and have conducted a review of the actions.
"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," the police department said in a statement obtained by CNN.
"He finds ways to stay under the law," Martinez said. "He can't be wrong in the eyes of the law. He doesn't care about the morals."
"It feels hopeless and sad. I'm so drained," she said.
Neighbors in the cul-de-sac organized a protest in the hopes that action will be taken against the neighbor to possibly stop the racial harassment. Following the rally, which was attended by hundreds who came to show support for the family, the noises have become less frequent according to the Virginian Pilot.