07.12.2021

Neighbour blasts racial slurs at Black family, but police say there’s nothing they can do

Jannique Martinez bought her house in Virginia Beach five years ago, she told CNN. But since then, the situation with her neighbour has made her so miserable that she now regrets it.

“I’m not going to lie, if I had any imagination it would be like this, we would have not bought this house,” Ms Martinez told the network. “I would never sign up for this.”

A Black family in Virginia says their neighbour blasts audio of racial slurs at them every time they leave their house, but police say there’s nothing they can do about it.

The homeowner says her neighbour has set up sensors that are tripped whenever her family or others in the neighbourhood leave or enter their homes. When the sensors go off, they trigger bright flashing lights and loud music.

Over the years, Ms Martinez says, that music has sometimes changed to monkey sounds or comedy videos that make heavy use of the “N” word.

“The situation is truly heartbreaking,” she said.

In spite of all this, local police say they’re powerless to punish the neighbour.

“The observed conduct has been reviewed with the City Attorney for potential criminal sanctions,” the Virginia Beach Police Department told CNN. “However, it was determined that the activity, though appalling, is not criminally actionable.”

Ms Martinez says she’s at her wit’s end over the situation.

“He finds ways to stay under the law,” the distraught mother said. “It feels hopeless and sad. I’m so drained.”

In addition to the sounds and lights, Ms Martinez says the neighbor has cameras pointing out of his house in all directions.

“We are all on surveillance 24/7 with cameras in every direction of his home,” she said.

The Independent has reached out to the Virginia Beach Police Department for comment, but has not heard back yet.

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