Neighbor harasses Black family with N-word and monkey noises, cops say 'not a crime'

'Whenever we would step out of our house, the monkey noises would start. And it's so racist and it's disgusting,' Jannique Martinez shared


                            Neighbor harasses Black family with N-word and monkey noises, cops say 'not a crime'
Jannique Martinez and her husband Deri Joel Martinez are residents of Jessamine Court in Salem Lakes, Virginia Beach (Facebook/Jannique Martinez)

A Black family from Virginia suburbs has complained of being continually harassed by their neighbor, who reportedly bombards them with monkey noises and racial slurs throughout the day. Jannique Martinez and her husband Deri Joel Martinez are residents of Jessamine Court in Salem Lakes, Virginia Beach for the last five years. They have alleged that their neighbor also flashes blinking lights at their house and often plays banjo music loudly on speakers, whenever they are leaving the house. 

The more shocking part is that the local police refuse to take any action against the neighboring man, citing his actions are not 'criminally actionable'. However, the city's ordinance for noise complaints states that playing 'excessive sound' is a Class 3 misdemeanor. Sharing a video of their ordeal, Jannique Martinez posted on Facebook, "In this day and age this is what me and my family have to deal with. My hateful neighbor plays this along with the monkey noises towards me and my family, EVERY SINGLE DAY!! There are no laws in the commonwealth that protect us from it. This affects my kids mentally and emotionally. It’s a sad moment for all of us!!"

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Talking to KRON4, Jannique said, "Whenever we would step out of our house, the monkey noises would start. And it's so racist and it's disgusting." The neighbor reportedly plays the noises in loud volume in 15 to 30 seconds interval throughout the day, but reduces the volume whenever police officers are around. In addition, he has recently installed surveillance cameras in his property which capture the Black family whenever they go out.

There had also been instances of N-word being hurled at the family, including Jannique and Deri's children. "My son is terrified of him. Terrified, terrified. The N-word situation… They came to me and said, 'Mom, what's that?' I didn't subject my kids to that. I didn't think they would ever have to learn what this means," Jannique recalled. 

Other neighbors supporting the Martinezes have protested outside the man's house time and again, but he has turned a deaf ear to everyone. 

Cops had instructed the family to file a complaint at the Virginia Beach Magistrate Office. But the authorities there turned down her appeal last week saying there was nothing to be done since the man never threatened the family or inflicted any bodily harm on them. Jannique remarked, "I actually felt like… helpless a little bit. Because I've gone to the magistrate, I've gone to civil court, I've talked to a lawyer… I've done what I can to do it the right way." So far, the local police has responded to her complaints nine times, including seven nuisance complaints, but no charges have been filed against the alleged neighbor. 

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