'You don't belong here': White man and his mom assault Black worker in viral video
A white man and his mother have been accused of racially stereotyping a Black worker in a Tennessee parking garage. According to the Nashville Metro Police Department, the man has been charged with assault after a video of the confrontation went viral on social media.
Edward Brennan, as per the arrest warrant issued on December 2, swung at Johnny Martinez, who was checking cars for parking permits in a Nashville garage after his mother phoned the cops because Martinez failed to present identification. According to the warrant, “A reasonable person would regard the contact as extremely offensive or provocative,” causing Martinez to fear “imminent bodily injury."
"I observed folks observing me while I was conducting my rounds," he stated. Martinez stated he attempted to ignore the couple while working until the mother reportedly informed him, "You don't belong here. How did you find your way here?"
In the video that was initially shared on YouTube, Martinez can be seen filming the mother and son as they interrogate him. Martinez's mother, Bitsy, begs for her son's identification after Brennan says he'll contact the cops. Brennan then walks away from the camera and into a car. When the son returns to the scene, he punches Martinez, knocking a bottle opener from his keychain.
Narrating the incident to the daily, Martinez said, "When he assaulted me, he swung and almost hit me in the face. He shattered the bottle opener from my keys. He lunged at me as I attempted to get it." He claimed to have waited for the cops to arrive but the mother and boy had already departed. Martinez claimed that he works for a booting firm with hundreds of contracts with Nashville homes. His responsibility was to make sure that automobiles parked on such premises had the required permits.
"We would immobilize the car if they didn't have permission," he said, adding that "We'd put a boot on it." He further said that he believes it is natural for people to be intrigued about what he does while inspecting automobiles. He should, however, seem professional enough with his enormous light, knee pads, and lanyard to make folks assume he's working.
Martinez said he was more surprised than anything else by the encounter, which kept him concerned for days thereafter. He said, "I felt like crap. I thought I was going to experience one of Karen's classic moments."