- A Black woman says her neighbor plays “racist” recording from his home when her family is outside.
- Jannique Martinez said her neighbors have also been targets of the harassment, WAVY-TV reported.
- Police said the neighbor’s behavior is not “criminal,” so there’s not much they can do.
A Black woman in Virginia said her neighbor has been taunting her family by playing audio recordings of “racist” slurs and animal noises whenever they step out of their home. The local police said they can’t intervene.
Jannique Martinez and other residents in Virginia Beach have been dealing with their neighbor’s actions for over a year, WAVY-TV reported.
Martinez, a military veteran, told the outlet her neighbor monitors residents in the cul-de-sac with surveillance cameras from his home, and also uses blinking lights to harass them.
“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 told CNN. “When the sensors are activated, loud music begins to play. He switches the music based on the family that is activating the music.”
The neighbor’s behavior escalated to monkey sounds and racial slurs after Martinez called the police to complain about his loud music, according to the reports. Martinez told CNN that “since that day he’s been playing n—– skits that he found online.”
She added that the neighbor even plays the noises when her 7-year-old son is outside, saying her child is “terrified,” according to local reports.
“It’s so racist and it’s disgusting,” she said, WAVY-TV reported.
Martinez tried to reach out to authorities, the magistrate’s office, and even civil court regarding the situation, but they couldn’t do much to help, WAVY-TV reported.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Virginia Beach Police Department called the neighbor’s behavior is “appalling” but said they “have no authority to intervene.”
“As appalling and offensive as the neighbor’s actions are, the city attorney and Virginia magistrates have separately determined that the actions reported thus far did not rise to a level that Virginia law defines as criminal behavior,” the statement said.
Following reports on Martinez’s story from The Virginian-Pilot and WAVY-TV, the family has been connected with the Virginia Fair Housing Office to help with their complaints.
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