A community rally to help Virginia Beach families with “racist” rumblings next door since 2017

Activists gathered at Virginia Beach on Saturday morning to help a black family who has been abused by their neighbors for unpleasant loud noises and other “racially discriminatory things” since 2017.

The peaceful march hosted by Russell Tea, who lives outside Richmond, was a sign of community solidarity in the sleepy Salem Lakes district, which the Martinez family called home for nearly five years.

The march brought together dozens of neighbors and family friends who gathered at 10am at Food Lion, less than a mile from Martinez’s home. The group walked, joined by members of the Black Lives Matter 757, and raised a flag with the BLM757 logo and other signs. They chanted “Black Lives Matter,” “racists would be unacceptable.”

“Power is always in people. We people, we show up. This is not violence,” said Tee, 38, who drove to Virginia Beach for two and a half hours to lead the rally. I did. “This is peace, love and harmony as a community. Love must overcome hatred.”

“People need someone to stand with them,” said Debbie Platosis, a Virginia Beach resident who didn’t know his family but came after hearing the news coverage.

“It’s quiet. It’s good to know that the community is in one place,” Jannique Martinez said in a telephone interview before the march. “They (police) are still under investigation. They have good support, but their anxiety is (still) high. I am always worried about my safety and the safety of my children.”

Martinez attended the rally, but not the rest of her family, her husband Joel and her three children aged 7, 12, and 20.

A white, self-employed financial analyst, Mr. Tee has organized socially unjustified rallies around the country to combat racial inequality, he said.

“If we don’t incorporate that feeling and energy into the city council and the council halls, (racism) will not change,” he said. “The system needs to be dismantled.”

Attempts to contact Martinez’s neighbor were unsuccessful.

For years, the family has dealt with harassment, loud music, and other “racially discriminatory things” (slurs and monkey calls) from their neighbor’s house in 2000 blocks of the Jesamine Court, according to Martinez. I have come.

In the past two weeks, the case has attracted the attention of local authorities, law enforcement agencies, and the national media after the first appearance of a story detailing Martinez’s frustration and anxiety in Virginia pilots. Tee also posted a story to his Instagram account and gained thousands of views. Audio clips of noise and unpleasant animal calls captured by pilot reporters are also available.

Virginia Beach Police at the beginning of the week Make a statement Neighbors’ behavior is called “horrifying and unpleasant.” The ministry said it was not authorized to intervene in the event of multiple complaints. Authorities monitor the situation. It is also investigating state housing agencies investigating cases of intimidation and harassment.

Martinez said there was a verbal agreement between neighbors and police to cut noise, but that’s not enough.

“Make it a law. If he bothers someone, the consequences will come,” Martinez said.

Lisa Vernon Sparks, 757-247-4832, lvernonsparks @ dailypress.com