A white man has been charged with assault and he and his mother are accused of racially profiling after an interaction lead to an altercation with a Black man who was working at a Tennessee parking garage.
Johnny Martinez, who identified himself as Black in the video he recorded of the encounter, was checking cars for parking permits in the River House apartment building’s parking garage in Nashville for a booting company on the evening of Nov. 27, when he noticed Edward Brennan and his mother, Bitsy Brennan, keeping a closer-than-normal eye on him.
In the video, Martinez can be heard asking the mother and son, “What do you want to know about what I’m doing in here?” to which Bitsy replies, “We just want to know what your job is and why…” and is cut off by Martinez who answers “None of your business” and walks away.
Brennan threatens to call the cops and tells Martinez that “this is not your apartment” and asks him to present identification. Martinez exchanges more words with Bitsy, who notes that “this is a secure building,” and when he asks how she thinks he got in, he turns and Brennan can be seen trying to grab for Martinez’s phone as his mother yells for him to stop.
“When he attacked me, he swung, he almost hit me in the face,” Martinez told The Daily Beast. “He broke this bottle opener off of my keys. When I went to go pick it up, he lunged.”
Bitsy proceeded to call the police on Martinez after her son told him to “Get the f**k out of my building.” The mother can be heard describing the situation to the police in the video and tells them that Martinez got “nasty” with them while leaving out any details about her son’s actions.
“There’s some gentleman down here, we asked him what he was doing down here and he said it was none of our business and he’s kind of gotten nasty towards us,” she says to the 911 operator. “We kind of, are trying to figure out why this person’s in the parking deck. He will not tell us why he’s here…and he will not show us his ID. It’s a secure building.”
When the dispatcher appeared to ask whether she was security, Bitsy responded, “I’m not security, no! I live in this building and this person’s walking around down here…” and Martinez loudly added, “Tell them that the person’s Black!”
According to Martinez’s YouTube post, he “waited at the property about 40 minutes for Metro PD where I filed a police report and will be pressing charges,” and by the time the cops showed up, the mother and son were nowhere to be seen.
On Dec. 2 police issued an arrest warrant for Edward on charges of assault citing that “a reasonable person would regard the contact as extremely offensive or provocative,” which caused Martinez to fear “imminent bodily injury.”
River House apartments declined to comment on the issue and Edward Brennan hung up on The Daily Beast when reached for comment.
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