UPDATE: The Rialto Police Department has released bodycam footage from the incident involving Donisha Prendergast. Three videos of bodycam footage were shown at a press conference to counter claims that Prendergast and two other friends — who are also black — were racially profiled.
The owner of the Airbnb the women stayed at was also present and said the situation could have been avoided had her guests used some common courtesy.
“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,” she said. “But instead, they were rude, unkind, not polite.”
Read the original story below and view the video here.
Three black women, one of whom is Bob Marley‘s granddaughter, were recently accused of burgling a home that they were actually Airbnb guests at.
Donisha Prendergast, a 33-year-old filmmaker as well as the descendant of the iconic reggae artist, and two of her friends — Kells Fyffe-Marshall and Komi-Oluwa Olafimihan — were confused for thieves as they were getting ready to leave their Airbnb in Rialto, California. According to a report from CBS News, the trio was packing their luggage when a neighbor called the cops on them, reportedly telling officers that she saw “three black people stealing stuff.” The neighbor had also reportedly waved at the group but they didn’t acknowledge her back, which contributed to her calling the police. Both Prendergast and Fyffe-Marshall posted a video of the incident on their social media.
“We were surrounded by 7 cop cars. The officers came out of their cars demanding us to put our hands in the air,” Fyffe-Marshall wrote in a Facebook post. “They informed us that there was also a helicopter tracking us. They locked down the neighborhood and had us standing in the street.”
The trio served the Rialto Police Department with notice of a pending lawsuit Monday in regards to the incident. However, the department believes responding officers acted professionally.
“It was a very low-key contact,” Captain William Wilson of the Rialto Police Department said. “Nobody had their hands up in the air. There was no guns pointed. Nobody was put on the curb.”
A representative for Prendergast declined to comment further but pledged to release a longer version of the video and details of the pending lawsuit.
Source: CBS News