A Detroit man is planning to sue three white women who repeatedly called the cops on him and fabricated stories of stalking, threatening and even being a pedophile, all because he was working on constructing a community garden at a vacant playground in his community.
Marc Peeples, who is Black, and his attorney Robert Burton-Harris are accusing the women of making up increasingly alarming stories about him throughout 2017 and early 2018 as part of their ploy to “take control” of Hunt Park and have Peeples removed from the park where he was trying to build out an urban garden, the Detroit Metro Times reports.
The three women – Deborah Nash, Martha Callahan, and Jennifer Morris – all live near the park. The first began calling the police about Peeples, accusing him of “illegal gardening,” but when police declined to respond, they escalated their behavior.
At one point, they accused Peeples of threatening Nash with a gun in the park. In another incident, they accused him of being a part of a drive-by shooting. In one of the more horrifying cases, the women waited until Peeples was with children – who were working with him in the garden – and accused him of being a pedophile.
This all led up to the Detroit Police Department and Wayne County Prosecutors Office filing charges against Peeples, writing him up for three counts of stalking.
However, 36th District Court Judge E. Lynise Bryant thankfully dismissed the case, slamming the women’s stories as “fabricated,” claiming that they lied under oath.
“[The three white women] should be sitting at the defendant’s table for stalking and harassment charges, not Mr. Peeples,” Judge Bryant said at the time. “This is disgusting and a waste of the court’s time and resources.”
And this is why Peeples has filed his complaint, alleging that the women’s actions were “extreme, malicious, wanton and outrageous” and part of a “conspiracy” to get him “incarcerated or seriously injured by law enforcement.”
“I was arrested in front of children, and even after I was arrested my name was still being slandered, people were still saying things about me that wasn’t true,” Peeples told the Metro Times. “I wanted to hold people accountable. I was locked up, I had to face trial, and I had to put my life back together.”
Burton-Harris also told the news site that there is evidence that the women lied not only to law enforcement but under oath. Despite this all, they seemingly faced no repercussions.
“We want some consequences,” the attorney said. “We waited to see if DPD or prosecutor’s office would investigate the women, and that didn’t happen, so that’s part of the reason we decided to move forward.”
Peeples is seeking $300,000 in damages.
So why had the women targeted Peeples? Apparently, they wanted to use the park for their own devices. Burton-Harris pointed out that after his client was arrested and ordered to stay away from the park, the three women asked for permission from the city to adopt the location and “implement their own projects.” They also either removed or covered up the painstaking work Peeples had already done.
“At all times, Deborah, Martha, and Jennifer, collectively and individually, acted with the ulterior purpose of obtaining control over Hunt Park,” Burton-Harris wrote.”They made false police reports and accused Marc of various crimes that they knew he did not commit.”
Despite the fallout, Peeples is planning to go back to the park to continue his work. The garden – now known as Liberated Farms – will be part of the STEM curriculum for some local schools, and he plans to add some playground equipment as well.
And he has the support to do it too. A GoFundMe on his behalf has raised more than $54,000 over the past four months, crushing the original $5,000 goal. Peeples told the Metro Times that the money is helping him support the farm, and also helped him buy a house for him and his mother.
“I have to do for my people and that’s my concern — rebuilding the neighborhood back up,” he said.