Bob Marley’s granddaughter Donisha Prendergast is accusing Rialto police racial priling following an Airbnb robbery claim. The 33 year-old filmmaker and two friends were renting a domestic space on April 30. Upon checking out the residence, a nearby neighbour had spotted Prendergast and her companions and notified the authorities to warn them a potential robbery.
While the three women, who are all African American, walked away from the incident unharmed and without legal penalty, they are disappointed in how the situation was handled. “Just because we’re alive to tell the story doesn’t mean that everything is all right,” Prendergast admits. “Individuals have to be held accountable. And we want a review so the police do not perpetuate an individual’s racism with their policies. The neighbour was wrong for racial priling, and the police were wrong for responding with the protocol they used. Isn’t it innocent until proven guilty? That’s not how things proceeded.”
The Airbnb host Marie Rodriguez notes how her neighbour called the police because they did not know she was renting out her home. Rodriguez believes that Prendergast and her friends are “latching on to this whole racism thing, because they’re black,” revealing how “this is a diverse neighbourhood.”
The encounter with the police lasted 22 minutes, as authorities accused the women fabricating their Airbnb online confirmation, as well as having someone else pose as their host for a photo.
Rialto Police Chief Mark Kling believes his team “handled the call for service with dignity, respect and the utmost pressionalism.”