Following a highly publicized controversy with Airbnb last month, Donisha Prendergast is calling for action. Bob Marley's granddaughter wants more than just empty apologies.
Demanding A Real Response
Filmmaker Prendergast and her friends wish to meet with officials from the Southern California police department that detained them unlawfully following a complaint from a neighbor.
The person in question called 911 after witnessing Prendergast and her companions vacating the premises because, by her account, they didn't greet her accordingly.
"We want more than an apology, we want change," demanded Prendergast on Thursday.
She and her friends are calling out the nosy neighbor for racially profiling them, as well as the overreaction from police.
"The neighbor was wrong for racial profiling, and the police were wrong for responding with the protocol they used. Isn't it innocent until proven guilty? That's not how things proceeded," she argued.
Minding Their Own Business
The 33-year-old filmmaker and her two friends, Kelly Fyffe Marshall and Komi-Oluwa Olafimihan, all of whom are black, claim they were just leaving the Airbnb rental in Rialto on April 30 when a white neighbor called 911 to report that the property was apparently being robbed.
Prendergast, whose mother is the eldest daughter of reggae legend Marley, pointed out that the situation could've escalated badly.
"Just because we're alive to tell the story doesn't mean that everything is all right. Individuals have to be held accountable. And we want a review so the police do not perpetuate an individual's racism with their policies," she explained.
Their host, Marie Rodriguez, reasoned that her neighbor called the police because she didn't realize the place was being rented out. She argued that the area is diverse itself, and said that Prendergast and her friends are only latching onto the racist argument because they're black themselves.
A Clear Case Of Racial Profiling
However, Benjamin Crump, the filmmaker's attorney, pointed out the fact that the woman who made the call specifically reported that three black people appeared to be robbing her neighbor's house.
The woman argued that they were acting suspiciously, loading suitcases into a car, and neglecting to smile or wave at her when she allegedly waved at them.
Crump also accused the cops of accusing Prendergast and her friends of fabricating their Airbnb confirmation and of posing as the host in question on the phone.
The Rialto Chief of police dismissed any claims of racism, arguing that the group was never cuffed or seated on the curb. He said he was confident that all officers involved had handled the situation respectfully and professionally.
According to Prendergast and her friends, multiple police cars showed up in response to the 911 call, which they felt was wildly over the top.
Crump believes the neighbor should be investigated for filing a false police report in relation to the incident. She has yet to be identified.