In Virginia, a Black woman went to police to report her neighbor, who she says constantly torments her—but police say it is not a crime.
Jannique Martinez says for more than a year now, her family and other neighbors are being harassed in her Virginia Beach neighborhood, according to WAVY. Martinez says her neighbor plays monkey noises and racial slurs over speakers so loud it shakes her home.
“Whenever we would step out of our house, the monkey noises would start. It’s so racist, and it’s disgusting. … I don’t even know how else to explain it,” Martinez said.
City officials have described the allegations against the neighbor as “offensive,” but not a criminal act.
— Virginia Beach PD (@VBPD) September 30, 2021
Martinez said the neighbor also monitors her family’s comings and goings with several home cameras and blinking lights that he hooked up to sensors.
Martinez told WAVY the neighbor’s alleged harassment escalated to monkey noises and audio of racial epithets after she reported him for playing loud music.
“He found out that we called the police on him to turn down the music one morning. And it’s just been nonstop with the N-word,” Martinez said. “My son is terrified of him. Terrified!”
The police department released a statement about the case Wednesday, describing the neighbor’s behavior as “appalling,” “offensive,” and “unpleasant.”
While the statement addresses the issue, police say they cannot do anything about the situation.
“The city attorney and Virginia magistrates have separately determined that the actions reported thus far did not rise to a level that Virginia law defines as criminal behavior,” the tweet said. “This means the VBPD has had no authority to intervene and warrants were not supported.”
Frustrated, Martinez told a local news outlet the system is not protecting her family.
“I’ve done what I can to do it the right way,” she said. “I’ve spent 11 years in the military. My husband is also a vet. We fought for this country, but yet, there is no one to fight for us.”