Video Of Neighborhood Dispute Spurs Anti-Racism Protest

WCBS 880 Newsroom
July 01, 2020 - 8:16 pm

    MONTCLAIR, N.J. (AP) — A dispute between neighbors over work being done at a New Jersey home this week sparked a brief anti-racism protest march after video of the confrontation was posted on social media.

    The dispute began around noon Monday, according to a Black couple who said in a video shared on Facebook that a white woman confronted them about whether they had obtained a permit to build a stone patio in the backyard of their Montclair, New Jersey, home.

    As the argument continued, the woman accuses her male neighbor of pushing her, allegations the man's wife can be heard off-screen denying. Several neighbors soon arrived to watch the commotion.

    “It’s not about the project at all,” said Fareed Hayat, who posted the video his wife took on his Facebook page. “It’s about us being suspect and her thinking she has the right to check our permit.”

    The woman refused the couple's request to leave the area and called police, who arrived a short time later.

    Hayat said officers spoke with other neighbors when they arrived. The confrontation eventually concluded without further incident, and authorities said Wednesday that no complaints have been filed by anyone involved in the dispute.

    Video of the dispute was then circulated on Facebook. Hayat said the woman, whose home abuts their yard, had contacted them multiple times over two years about home improvement projects like painting the house and hanging lights in their yard.

    “That’s the thing about white supremacy,” he said. “For her to think that she is entitled to know and we are required to tell her.”

    On Tuesday, about two dozen people — many of them white — gathered on the woman's street to stage a brief, peaceful protest march and denounce racism.

    A working phone number for the woman seen in the video could not be located Wednesday.

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