A Detroit man decided to dedicate his spare time to constructing a community garden in a vacant playground. However, when Marc Peeples, who is Black, began working on the garden, three white women nearly derailed his project and ruined his life by repeatedly calling 911 on him and making false allegations.
According to the Detroit Metro Times, everything began 2017 and continued on into early 2018. Peeples said the women – whom he identified on GoFundMe as Deborah Nash, Jennifer Morris and Martha Callahan – did not like his project in the park, which was located across from one of their homes.
The women would make calls to the police about him, but eventually even the police stopped responding to their incessant complaints. This resulted in the women stepping up their accusation game.
In one report, women accused Peeples of threatening Nash with a gun in the park, in another incident they accused him of taking part in a drive-by shooting. In another particularly horrific incident, the women waited until Peeples had children with him working in the garden and accused him of being a pedophile.
Ultimately the Detroit Police Department and Wayne County Prosecutors Office filed charges against Peeples, writing him up on three counts of stalking.
When the case was brought to 36th District Court Judge E. Lynise Bryant, the charges dropped the charges and agreed that his only crime was “gardening while Black.”
“[The three white women] should be sitting at the defendant’s table for stalking and harassment charges, not Mr. Peeples,” Judge Bryant said at a hearing. “This is disgusting and a waste of the court’s time and resources,” she added before granting the defense’s motion for a directed verdict, which ended the case before it went in front of a jury.”
Bryant told the Metro Times that she discovered that the women were actually the ones who initiated contact with Peeples in the first place and “engaged in a very targeted and constant harassment of the young man.”
“It was blatant racism. They didn’t like the fact that a Black man was in so-called ‘their’ neighborhood without their permission,” Peeples told the news outlet.
His friend started a GoFundMe to help him cover the unfortunate legal costs.
“It’s frustrating to have accusations placed on you with no merit, and they get you all the way into court to go to trial,” Peeples added. “If someone believed their story and I was found guilty,
To make the situation more infuriating, there appears to be no punishments facing the women.
Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Maria Miller said the women were “deemed to have provided credible allegations” that supported the charges. But she added, “At trial the three complainants were not able to present testimony in the case that supported the three counts of stalking and the judge dismissed the case.”
In the meantime, Peeples has reflected on how this has affected his life and warned others not to frivolously view these accounts.
“People are giving these ladies funny nicknames but this is serious,” he said. “This is my life, what these people are doing is not cute — it’s ugly.”
(Photo: Adam Kaz/Getty Images)