How ‘Gardening While Black’ Almost Landed This Man in Jail

Marc Peeples is passionate about gardening. So much so, he transformed a vacant playground into a green fingered wonderland. But his efforts offended three white women so much – they falsely accused him of an assortment of hideous crimes.

Police were called multiple times by Deborah Nash, Jennifer Morris, and Martha Callahan.

They complained about Peeples, who is black, according to the Detroit Metro Times. They alleged that the 32-year-old was a pedophile who threatened them with guns.

The drama started after Peeples painted the colors of Pan Africanism – red, black, and green – on a tree and porch of a vacant home facing Hunt Playground. The women claimed he was painting “gang signs” and called police.

When they failed to get an arrest, they called authorities again. This time Peeples was teaching a group of home-schooled children about working in a garden. The women told cops he was a convicted pedophile who shouldn’t be around kids.

When this didn’t work the woman claimed he was “stalking them.” Eventually, Detroit police charged Peeples with the crime – even though one of the officers is heard on his body cam calling the allegations against him “B.S.”

Peeples was eventually freed by a Michigan judge, who said that stalking charges were “disgusting” and “a waste of the court’s time and resources.”

“[The three white women] should be sitting at the defendant’s table for stalking and harassment charges, not Mr. Peeples,” District Court Judge E. Lynise Bryant said. “The women were so unhappy with the garden that they ‘engaged in a very targeted and constant harassment of the young man.’ I found their testimony to be offensive.”

Meanwhile Peeples called his treatment by the women “blatant racism.”

“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 said. “If someone believed their story and I was found guilty, I would be in county jail doing up to a year just because they don’t want … a black person in their area.

“They get to ruin my life, say anything they want, and then they get to go on with their lives.”

Although he won a legal victory, Peeples has been fired from his job and is struggling to make ends meet. He also had to pay $3,500 to be freed on bond and substantial legal fees to his attorneys. 

 

‘It Was Blatant Racism’

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