A lawyer for Donisha Prendergast, the granddaughter of iconic reggae legend Bob Marley, notified a California police department she intends to file a lawsuit against them after she was mistaken for a robbery suspect instead of an Airbnb guest.
Prendergast and two of her friends were packing up to leave a house they rented through the service when a neighbor called 911 and said they were stealing. When officers from the Rialto Police Department showed up, they interrogated the group because the caller said they saw “three Black people stealing stuff.”
Part of the 20-minute ordeal was caught on camera and Prendergast shared it on her Instagram account.
“Got surrounded by the police for being Black in a white neighborhood,” she wrote in one post. “I’m sad and irritated to see that fear is still the first place police officers go in their pursuit to serve and protect, to the point that protocol supersedes their ability to have discernment.”
After calling the homeowner “to confirm there had been no crime committed,” police allowed the trio — Prendergast, Kells Fyffee Marshall, and Komi-Oluwa Olafimihan — to leave.
Still, Prendergast’s attorney, Jasmine Rand, served the Rialto police with notice that they will be filing a lawsuit against the department because of the incident.
While she hasn’t commented on the incident further, Pendergast extolled the virtues of standing up for yourself in her Instagram post.
“Many have suffered and died in moments like these. That’s a crazy reality check. Give Thanks for life, and the ability to stand our ground,” she said. “We are stronger together. Use your voice collectively.”