Of the ridiculous reasons White people have given for calling the police on Black people minding their business recently, summoning the cops on a group of black people leaving an Airbnb is particularly outrageous.
It was suggested by the home’s owner that the cops were called in because the visitors—Kelly Fyffe-Marshall, Donisha Prendergast and Komi-Oluwa Olafimihan—were not sufficiently cordial and friendly to a neighbor, thus making them seem suspicious.
Or, in her words, “strange.”
Caller alleges lack of courtesy caused incident
“I see these strange people coming and going back and forth, you know, with luggage,” she told the officer. Because people leaving a house with luggage seems to be indicative of a crime to this woman.
When the dispatcher asks what made the people seem so strange: “Because they had luggage in their hand and they weren’t really looking at me. You know, they just kind of avoided me, or they didn’t wave … And I know the couple that own the house, and I didn’t recognize them.”
The caller specifically singled out the three black people in the group and not the one white woman who was also with them. Calling them “strange” for not paying her what she deemed proper acknowledgment conjures visions of Jim Crow and the need for Black people to “check in” wherever they go.
#AirbnbWhileBlack guests’ reaction
“She said we looked strange and I don’t know what about us was strange,” Olafimihan told CNN on Saturday. “If I was in my neighborhood and I saw someone coming out of a house with luggage, I would not automatically assume they were stealing.”
Airbnb previously said in a statement to CNN that what happened was “unconscionable and a reminder of how far we still have to go as a society.”
“Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere and we have aggressively worked to fight bias and discrimination in society,” the company’s statement said in part.
Rialto Mayor Pro Tem Ed Scott said in a Tuesday news conference that officers acted in a “very professional manner.”
Watch their reactions to the 9-1-1 Tape here: