DETROIT – A black man is suing three white woman for making up lies about him to police in order to keep him away from a community park in Detroit.
Marc Peeples of Detroit said the women falsely accused him of crimes from July 2017 to May 2018 as he built a garden in Hunt Park and worked to improve the surrounding neighborhood.
Peeples alleges that the women – Deborah Nash, Martha Callahan and Jennifer Morris – had their own plans for the park and wanted to see him “incarcerated or seriously injured by law enforcement.”
The women told Detroit police administrators in March 2018 that Peeples had stolen from houses near the park and threatened to burn down their homes and kill them, according to the complaint filed Feb. 25 in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Two months later, as Peeples was in Hunt Park teaching a group of home-schooled students about gardening, one of the women called 911 and falsely reported that Peeples was a convicted pedophile and wasn’t legally allowed near kids, the complaint said. Police arrested Peeples in the park.
The allegations led to Peeples being charged with three counts of stalking. As a condition of his bond, he was barred from park. The women removed or covered some of the improvements Peeples had put in place, according to the lawsuit.
A Wayne County circuit court judge eventually tossed the case. The judge said the three women harassed Peeples, according to a report in the Detroit Metro Times.
NBC News reported that Peeples and his attorney, Robert Burton-Harris, describe what happened as a case of “gardening while black.”
In the lawsuit, Peeples is seeking $300,000 in damages, plus costs and attorney fees.
Nash, Callahan and Morris have unlisted phone numbers and could not immediately be reached by the Free Press late Tuesday.
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