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A Helicopter, 7 Cop Cars An Neighborhood Lockdown All Because Group Of Black Women Were Leaving Their Airbnb

A group of black women vacationing in California were confronted by a swarm of police after leaving their Airbnb because a woman, who is believed to be white, suspected them of stealing from a neighbor’s home.

Filmmaker Kells Fyffe-Marshall posted a video of local police interrogating the group last Tuesday, May 1, on Facebook. Fyffe-Marshall and the other women were surrounded by seven police cars and a slew of Rialto police officers as a helicopter tracking their movements flew above them. The neighborhood even went into lockdown in response to the presumed threat. She detailed the incident on Facebook:

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“During our time in Cali we have been staying at an Airbnb. The 30th was our second morning and at about 11am we checked out. The four of us packed our bags, locked up the house and left. As you can see 3 of us were Black. About 10 seconds later we were surrounded by 7 cop cars. The officers came out of their cars demanding us to put our hands in the air. They informed us that there was also a helicopter tracking us. They locked down the neighborhood and had us standing in the street.”

“Why? A neighbour across the street saw 3 black people packing luggage into their car and assumed we were stealing from the house. She then called the police. Why? A neighbor across the street saw 3 black people packing luggage into their car and assumed we were stealing from the house. She then called the police. At first, we joked about the misunderstanding and took photos and videos along the way. About 20 minutes into this misunderstanding, it escalated almost instantly. Their sergeant arrived… he explained they didn’t know what Airbnb was.” 

The women had to show officers their booking confirmation and contact the landlord to prove they had been guests at the home. However, the police detained them for nearly 45 minutes.

“Because they didn’t know what she looked like on the other end to confirm it was her.. they detained us – because they were investigating a felony charge – for 45 minutes while they figured it out,” Marshall wrote on Facebook.

At this point, the group was frustrated and ready to leave. Police ultimately revealed that the unidentified woman called police because the group of women did not wave at her as they loaded their luggage in their car.

The woman’s race has yet to be confirmed, but writer and activist Shaun King claims that the woman was white.

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