A Michigan woman was hit with a nearly $400 ticket after her white neighbor called the authorities and reported that a woman was speaking loudly on her cellphone. The woman now tells Fox 2 of Detroit that she believes her neighbor only called the cops on her because of her race.
Diamond Robinson, who’s Black, told reporters that on Thursday, May 27, she was on the phone strolling up and down her street in Eastpointe, a Detroit suburb, when a neighbor, who has refused to reveal her identity, confronted her and asked her to either end her call or “talk lower.” Robinson said she told the new neighbor to “get out my face” and carried on with her phone call.
Robinson said Eastpointe police officers arrived shortly afterward, and that’s when she decided to record the interaction on Facebook Live. The young woman said because of the increase in incidents between Black people and law enforcement, her instincts told her to start recording. “A lot of these things are being pushed under the rug, and they don’t need to,” she said. “We can sit here all day, and we can chant, we can riot, and we can do all of those things [but] that is not going to make a change if you don’t speak up at the time, at that moment.”
She explained to officers that she had done nothing wrong by walking around her block while on her phone. However, as she continued recording, police wrote her a ticket for $385.
“I get a ticket for being a public nuisance because I’m talking too loud on my phone,” she said in the clip obtained by the outlet. “That’s why I got a ticket?” Robinson disagreed with the disciplinary action taken against her, telling reporters, “There’s no way police should be called on me when I am on my own property, in my own neighborhood on my own block.”
However, officials told Fox 2 they ticketed Robinson because she “could be heard from approximately 150 feet away.” Authorities also claimed that attempts made to speak with Robinson failed. In believing that she would continue to talk loudly on the phone, they issued her a civil infraction citation. Robinson also reportedly declined to accept the ticket. Police said that the ticket was the “least intrusive” option among choices of a misdemeanor violation or arresting her.
In a statement to the outlet, cops said, “The officers acted professionally when speaking with Ms. Robinson. Officers respond to all police dispatches and had no option but to go to the scene of the complaint. We expect our officers to maintain public peace. This can often be accomplished through discussions and negotiations, but sometimes enforcement action has to be taken.”
When addressing the neighbor who called the police, Robinson said plainly: “Leave me alone, what’s going on, are you upset? What did I do to you?”
Fox 2 reports that since the incident, Robinson has formally complained to police about her neighbor, and the neighbor as filed her own complaint to police as well. Authorities said they plan to hold a mediation between the two residents.