After a Black woman claimed she was being harassed by her neighbors, a group of Black men have begun providing security overnight to ensure her safety.
According to Blavity, Jennifer McLeggan moved into her Valley Stream, New York, home nearly three years ago and has been receiving threats from her white neighbors ever since.
“I feel like I’m terrorized. It’s a nightmare living next to him,” McLeggan told CBS New York.
McLeggan, a registered nurse, said her neighbors, Michael McEneaney, 82, his son John, 57, and the son’s girlfriend have been harassing her since she moved into the house. McLeggan said they’ve thrown feces over a fence into her yard, left dead animals on her property, spit on her yard, used a blowtorch on her home, and told her they want her to go back to where she came from.
McLeggan was eventually fined by the city for having feces in her yard, but she purchased a camera system and caught the neighbors on tape leading to a $5,000 judgment against the pair in her favor. The Nassau Police Department said officers have responded to 45 complaints regarding McLeggan and her neighbors.
However, that didn’t stop them.
After the continued harassment, McLeggan put a long message on her front door, detailing the incidents.
This is so WRONG!! Jennifer McLeggan, a NY nurse and single mom, is the target of ongoing threats and racist harassment by her neighbor. He throws feces, dead squirrels, and trash in her yard, says she can be “erased,” etc. Ms. McLeggan, you should not have to put up with this!! pic.twitter.com/TZX0myeB7h
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) July 14, 2020
When the post went viral, several Black men responded. Anthony Herron Jr. from Queens immediately reached out to McLeggan to see if he could help. During their conversation, McLeggan told Herron he could pray for her, but he decided that wasn’t enough.
“I didn’t feel comfortable with that. I’m religious as well, but we don’t know what can happen. I take threats to Black women very seriously,” Herron told Blavity.
Herron offered to sit outside her house to guarantee that her neighbors would not harm her or her property and has been doing so since. After a couple of days, Herron’s friends joined him to make sure he was safe as well.
The men who have joined Herron typically stake out McLeggan’s house from sundown to sunup. McLeggan said some of the harassment has happened in the early hours of the morning.
“I can feel a little bit better knowing that the sun is up and if something happens, it’s in broad daylight,” Herron said.
McLeggan added she’s more than touched by the help of the men.
“These are men who have jobs. Men who are dealing with COVID just like were dealing with COVID,” she said. “But they took time to make sure my baby and I are safe.”
She praised Herron, who also goes by the nickname “Flow.”
“Flow has really stepped up to the plate,” McLeggan said. “He is a really good man and I don’t even know him from yard. He doesn’t ask for anything. He doesn’t even take a cup of water for me.”
Since the Black Lives Matter protests have begun as a result of the death of George Floyd, there has been a rash of racially-based incidents across the country. Lowe’s was forced to apologize after a woman complained about an employee wearing a Black Panther t-shirt. In Baltimore, a woman and her son were refused service at a seafood restaurant, due to the son’s athletic clothing.