Black couple from New Jersey speaks out after neighbor calls police on them

ByKemberly Richardson WABC logo
Thursday, July 2, 2020
Black couple outraged after neighbor calls police on them
Kemberly Richardson interviews an African American couple from Montclair who says their neighbor called police on them after a dispute over property.

MONTCLAIR, N.J. -- A Black couple from New Jersey is speaking out about a confrontation with their neighbor that led to police being called.

"If the police had come here and overreacted I could have been dead," Fareed Nassor Hayat said.

That's precisely why Hayat's wife Norrinda, started filming an ugly exchange with their neighbor in Montclair,

Video shows a neighbor call the police on a Black couple after a dispute over property.

"I filmed her because she started to play race tricks that endangered both my husband and my children," Norrinda Hayat said.

Fareed Hayat calls it another example of white entitlement and hatred of Blacks.

The couple are both attorneys, who live in Montclair. Their neighbor, whose yard sits right next to theirs, is the one who called police on them.

On Monday, Norrinda Hayat was on a work call, when she says the woman came to her house three times demanding to know if they had a permit to build a stone patio in their backyard.

"It's just grown increasingly intense, this desire to interrogate, deputize yourself to make sure I'm following the rules," Norrinda Hayat said.

She says it's been going on for two years, from the color of their house to the lights in their backyard, the neighbor always has questions and they give her answers.

But this time they felt enough was enough.

The couple says they had done the research and knew they didn't need a permit, and the town confirmed that.

When she wasn't getting answers, the neighbor called police with an outrageous claim.

"She backed up off the property, at that point she said I'm calling police you assaulted me," Fareed Hayat said.

They are grateful, at least five witnesses, their neighbors, told police that it wasn't true.

In the video that was posted on Facebook, you can hear the neighbors telling the woman, "shame on you."

Officers did respond, but all parties decided not to move forward.

"We don't want to wage war with our neighbors, we want to be in our patio in quarantine backyard and be at peace," Norrinda Hayat said.

But thousands have now viewed the video and rallied outside of the neighbor's home.

Montclair residents protest after a woman calls police on her African American neighbors.

That neighbor could not be reached for comment.

"To weaponize the police as she tried to do and use police to enforce her desires it is white supremacy," Fareed Hayat said.

Montclair police released the following statement:

"On June 29, 2020 at approximately 12:23 PM, police responded to a dispute between neighbors regarding construction being done on the property of a residence on Norman Road. During the dispute, the neighbor who questioned the homeowner states that she was pushed by the homeowner, but witnesses say that they did not observe any physical contact. The Department does not have any reports of any of the involved parties having previous disputes with any neighbors. As of this writing, no charges have been filed against anyone involved in this incident, which is still under investigation. No further information is available at this time."