A Black Detroit man is suing three white women who harassed him while gardening and called the police on him.
According to the Detroit Metro-Times, Marc Peeples claims that in 2017 and early 208, the trio fabricated harmful stories about Peeples as he worked on a urban garden filled with flowers and vegetables in a park close to where the women lived.
The lawsuit filed in Wayne County Third Circuit Court in Michigan states that the women — Deborah Nash, Martha Callahan and Callahan’s granddaughter, Jennifer Morris — conspired to get Peeples “incarcerated or seriously injured by law enforcement.”
Throughout the year, Nash even told the police that Peeples had threatened her with a gun and that pan-African colors Peeples painted on vacant houses and trees were “gang colors.” She even claimed that the father threatened to burn down her house and repeatedly threatened to kill her.
In addition, the women told police Peeples had broken into homes near the park.
Even worse, while Peeples was gardening with his children, the women told authorities that he was a pedophile who wasn’t supposed to be around children, a claim that was wildly untrue.
“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,” he 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.”
At his trial in October 2018, District Judge E. Lynise Bryant dismissed the case before it went to the jury, describing it as “disgusting” and “a waste of the court’s time and resources, adding that the women, “should be sitting at the defendant’s table for stalking and harassment charges,” not Peeples.
Peeples’ attorney, Robert Burton-Harris, added that this is a case of “gardening while Black” and that the women should be held accountable.
“We want some consequences,” Burton-Harris says. “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 suing the women for $300,000 in damages and claims the women’s accusations caused him to lose his job.
While, Peeples didn’t tend to the garden during the trial last October, he plans on going back this season and will add new playground equipment to the park with the $56,000 he raised through a GoFundMe page.
He told the Metro-Times that he isn’t worried about being harassed by the women anymore.
“I have to do for my people and that’s my concern — rebuilding the neighborhood back up.”