I know this is going to sound like a radical idea but it's time that white people who call the police on black people for the crime of existing while black start facing serious legal penalties. This kind of shit can't be allowed to go on without consequence:
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.
Eventually, the cops decided to arrest Peeples and charge him with harassment. It's not clear what the police based those charges on but Peeples was facing jail time for gardening while black.
Fortunately, in this instance, the case was thrown out with hostility by Judge E. Lynise Bryant who said, "[The three white women] should be sitting at the defendant's table for stalking and harassment charges, not Mr. Peeples." This is a noble sentiment but as of this writing, not one of these three bigots is facing a day in jail.
Let's be clear here: They are criminals. Not "they acted in a criminal fashion," but actual criminals. There is literally a law against exactly what they did. Since they falsely reported a felony (the fake drive-by shooting), they should be facing up to 4 years in jail and a $2,000 fine each. Had Peeples been injured or killed, a very distinct possibility since they claimed he was armed and shooting up the neighborhood, they would have been facing 15 years and a fine of up to $50,000 each.
So how is it that these three women who filed false police reports, and then stood up in court and obviously perjured themselves, also a crime carrying up to 15 years, are not wearing orange jumpsuits? Why are they immune from the consequences of their actions?
Meanwhile, Peeples is struggling to rebuild:
Though he won the case, Peeples said the women destroyed his life. He had to pay $3,500 to get out on bond, he paid for attorneys, he lost work contracts, and his name was dragged through the mud. A friend set up a GoFundMe page to help him recover some of the costs.
Mind you, this is a man who built a community garden, showed children how to grow things, cleaned out the trash from vacant lots, and, I kid you not, boarded up abandoned houses to keep the crackheads out in an area he didn't live in. This is not someone you chase out of your community. This is someone you get to live there.
But not if you're a racist garbage person. These women attempted to use the police as their own personal lynch mob to remove a black man from "their" public space. They made him seem as dangerous and threatening as possible with the clear intent of initiating a lethal confrontation. With the amount of publicity surrounding police brutality and black men being killed by law enforcement, there is no other reasonable interpretation for their reporting Peebles being armed and engaged in acts of violence. They wanted the police to go in with their guns drawn and trigger fingers itchy. Suicide by cop is a thing. So is homicide and attempted homicide by cop.
Until people, overwhelmingly white people, are forced to pay a real and painful price for using the police to attack black people for existing, this kind of injustice will continue. And when we do start holding them accountable, the trash people will scream bloody murder, insisting that they're being denied the right to call the police when they feel threatened. But someday, someone is going to have to explain to racists that no one gives a shit if the sight of black skin terrifies them. Their idiotic fear of The Other doesn't give them extra privileges and rights and it certainly doesn't oblige the rest of America to indulge their pettiness and hatred.
This. Must. Stop.