In a Detroit neighborhood filled with abandoned houses and empty lots, a black male resident named Marc Peeples decided to spend his time making the area safer and a little nicer for his neighbors. To do so, he began clearing an empty lot to create a community garden and boarded up the windows of abandoned homes that had attracted criminal activity.
Three white women decided the view from their windows shouldn’t include a black man and began repeatedly calling the police with claims that he had a gun, painted gang colors on abandoned homes, was involved in a driveby, made threats to their lives and had been stalking them, and that he was a known pedophile who had been banned by local schools from being in the presence of children.
Marc Peeples, member of the vicious *squints* Kwanzaa gang pic.twitter.com/UZheUBdcr6
— Nathan Bernhardt (@jonbernhardt) October 18, 2018
Police said the claims were outrageous but eventually charged him with three counts of stalking. In court, the women could prove none of their claims.
#GardeningWhileBlack Mr. Marc Peeples was falsely accused by 3 white women while he simply was tending his gardens in Detroit. All charges were laughed out of court, but he's out $3500. Please go here to donate: https://t.co/77tf1mXfUA TYIA
— stephen matlock (@stephenmatlock) October 19, 2018
According to The Detroit Metro Times:
‘Throughout 2017 and early 2018, three white women called police dozens of times, making increasingly serious allegations against Marc Peeples, a black man.
‘Peeples was building a community garden on the vacant Hunt Playground on Colton Street adjacent to the State Fairgrounds. One of the women, Deborah Nash, lives across the street from the park, while the others live nearby…
‘Peeples claimed the women didn’t like his project, so they began calling the police, fabricating serious charges when police wouldn’t come out for illegal gardening allegations. Those culminated with charges that Peeples was a pedophile, was in the park threatening Nash with a gun, and participated in a drive-by shooting.’
— 6-9a ET #GetWoke⏰ #MIP🎙️ #GetWokeAndVote🗳️ (@MakeItPlain) October 19, 2018
36th District Court Judge E. Lynise Bryant dismissed the charges and said that they should have been levied against the women for stalking Mr. Peeples rather than the other way around.
‘[The three white women] should be sitting at the defendant’s table for stalking and harassment charges, not Mr. Peeples. This is disgusting and a waste of the court’s time and resources.’
In court, the women claimed that a local school principal had told them that Peeples was banned from his school’s grounds due to allegations of pedophilia. However, neither that principal or any other school official came forward to corroborate the claims. The reports that Peeples had a gun while working on the community garden, which the women claimed he had used to threaten their lives, was unfounded, as well. Police found nothing on the man when they responded to the complaints, other than a rake.
Why didn’t his attorneys sue the women for making false police reports, and slander to recoup actual damages, lost wages and attorney fees? Detroit judge tosses 'gardening while black' case brought by three white women https://t.co/EoEDW0XJQB
— MiddleclassVote (@Voter99percent) October 19, 2018
Peeples, whose friends started a GoFundMe page to help cover his lost wages during the legal battle as well as his legal fees, called the women’s accusations “blatant racism”
‘It was blatant racism. They didn’t like the fact that a black man was in so-called ‘their’ neighborhood without their permission…It’s frustrating to have accusations placed on you with no merit, and they get you all the way into court to go to trial. If someone believed their story and I was found guilty, I would be in county jail doing up to a year just because they don’t want … a black person in their area.’
Peeples’ attorney, as well as residents disgusted by the women’s claims, say that his only crime seems to have been “gardening while black.”
Featured image via GoFundMe