The case became popularly known as “gardening while black,” - as the women falsely accused him for being a pedophile and threatening to kill them.
Last few months have been rife with cases where white people have called police on people from the black community for almost no reason at all. These cases later went on to become the prominent yardsticks to measure how ridiculous some of the calls to the cops can be. The calls became a way of racial microaggressions - something that was used against the people from the black community.
Now, a man from Detroit is suing three white women for repeatedly calling the police for getting rid of him in a public park. The case became popularly known as “gardening while black,” - as the women falsely accused him for being a pedophile and threatening to kill them. According to USA Today, Marc Peeples said that women had accused him of the crimes in July 2017 to May 2018.
A Black Detroit man is suing 3 white women who called the police on him and made false reports over a community gardening project, reports @metrotimes. Last year, a judge tossed out charges they made against him.— AJ+ (@ajplus) 5 March 2019
Marc Peeples is reportedly seeking $300K in damages. pic.twitter.com/0vcZxNKubZ
Peeples had only been trying to build a garden in Hunt Park and worked to improve the surrounding neighborhood.
He alleges that the women – Deborah Nash, Martha Callahan and Jennifer Morris – had their own plans for the park and wanted to see him "incarcerated or seriously injured by law enforcement."
Marc Peeples, a Black man, started an urban farm in Detroit. Three white women repeatedly called the police on him. “They knew they could use the police as their own personal henchman to get him removed from this area just based on their allegations.” https://t.co/0moEbgP5UH— The Appeal (@theappeal) 29 October 2018
USA Today reports that the women had told the Detroit police administrators in March 2018 that Peeples had been stealing from the houses near the park. Not only that, but they also accused him of threatening to burn their homes down and kill them, according to a complaint that was filed on Feb. 25 in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Marc Peeples, a 33-year old Black man from Detroit, is filing a lawsuit against three white women who repeatedly reported him to police just to get rid of him in a public park!#blacklivesmatter#livingwhileblack https://t.co/EH0HACVFLH— United Black Front (@100UBF) 6 March 2019
It does not stop there. Two months later, as Peeples was in Hunt Park teaching a group of home-schooled students about gardening, one of the women called 911 and falsely reported that Peeples was a convicted pedophile and wasn't legally allowed near kids, the complaint said. The local police arrested Peeples in the park.
Prosecutors brought three counts of stalking against Marc Peeples. Charges were tossed calling it "troubling" and "ridiculous. Deborah Nash and two other white women should be sitting at the defendant's table for stalking and harassment charges, not Mr. Peeples," pic.twitter.com/Ed1GvAOgia— Brother Tyrone X (@tyrone345345) 25 October 2018
While people talk about false reports and their impact, here is something that can be considered. The allegations that the three women had made about Peeples led him to be charged with three counts of stalking. As a condition of his bond, he was barred from the park. The women removed or covered some of the improvements Peeples had put in place, according to the lawsuit.
A Wayne County circuit court judge eventually tossed the case. The judge said the three women harassed Peeples, according to a report in the Detroit Metro Times.
NBC News reported that Peeples and his attorney, Robert Burton-Harris, describe what happened as a case of "gardening while black."
Marc Peeples was constructing a community garden when the women began regularly calling police on him.https://t.co/Znvx5qZS92— BET (@BET) 19 October 2018
However, at Peeples' trial in October 2018, District Judge E. Lynise Bryant dismissed the case before it went to the jury, describing it as "disgusting" and "a waste of the court's time and resources."
The judge said the women "should be sitting at the defendant's table for stalking and harassment charges," and not Peeples.
Marc Peeples , I pray you get justice for the torment those 3 women put you through .— :) (@rsvp89) 5 March 2019
A good father dont deserve that
According to NBC News, the lawsuit claims that Peeples suffered economic injury, including lost job opportunities and canceled contracts, because of the charges. He is seeking $300,000 in damages, as well as attorneys' fees and other costs.
Peeples said Tuesday that he did not do gardening at the park during the trial but is now happy to be back at work doing what's important — maintaining the park and teaching children the value of horticulture.
"Since the trial went the way that it went, it actually has been positive by bringing light to what I’m doing in the community," he said.