A New Jersey woman was the latest to be caught on video acting uncharitably toward her neighbors, with someone only identified as Susan, who is white, filmed calling the police on her neighbors, who are Black, for no apparent reason.
The Internet pounced, dubbing her, inevitably, “Permit Karen,”after New Jersey’s Fareed Nassor Hyatt filmed the confrontation between himself, his wife and the woman, who apparently had been hounding the couple next door about a stone patio they were building in their backyard.
The confrontation took place on June 29 between the neighbors’ homes in Montclair, New Jersey, about seven miles northwest of Newark. The video had been viewed almost 200,000 times on Facebook, as of Monday afternoon.
In the Video, the Woman Is on the Phone With Police & Accuses Hyatt of Pushing Her ’10 Feet’
The video shows the woman identified as Susan pacing around, apparently on the phone with police. She accuses Hyatt of attacking her, while Hyatt’s wife films and says, “She’s been waiting two years to do this.”
Three other women from the neighborhood, who appear white, eventually join the scene and do not seem pleased with Susan’s behavior, although she tries to get them on her side.
“In this climate right now, you’re especially not supporting members of our community?” one woman walking a dog says incredulously, as Susan exclaims, “He pushed me 10 feet!”
After Susan asks for an officer on the phone, she repeats that Hyatt attacked her. “I didn’t put my hands on you, woman!” he says.
A second and third woman soon appear on their lawns nearby, as Susan tries to plead her case to them. One tells Susan that she saw the incident and the man didn’t touch her. When Susan tries to show her her arm as proof of an assault, the woman backs away and says, “Don’t go near me without a mask!”
Before the video ends, Hyatt’s wife says, “This is for the people, so they can see what we are living with, even in Montclair … for two years, Susan from Marion Road has been harassing us.”
In a later Facebook comment, Hyatt said that the police did show up, but “told me that Susan would like to just let it go.”
Hyatt Posted a Lengthy Explanation With the Video, Saying the Incident Was an Example of ‘White Entitlement’ & Black Hate
Hyatt, who is a law professor at the City University School of Law in New York City, claimed that Susan came onto his property three times within 30 minutes to demand that they show her a permit for the stone patio they were building on their lawn.
“When challenged about her flawed legal conclusions, assumption of right, her lack of agency over our home and our eventual demand that she leave our property immediately, Susan decided to call the police and make a false report of assault,” Hyatt said. “She invoked centuries of brutality in her call to the police and sought to put her Black neighbors back in their place. She believed that we were required to answer her questions and smile while doing so. But to her surprise, her efforts were met by two proudly black human beings, parents, lawyers, law professors, activist, community members, neighbors, citizens and fighters, who refused to submit.”
Hyatt also praised his white neighbors for their behavior during the incident. He called it “anti-racist ideology at work,” adding, Susan “left our home, rejected and unfulfilled, yet still empowered to do future harm. To her, Black Lives Don’t Matter when up against her presumed inalienable rights of whiteness.”
Social Media Condemnation of Susan Followed Swiftly; Racism Is ‘Alive & Well’ in Montclair, Users Declared
Hundreds of Facebook comments poured in, supporting Hyatt and his wife and condemning Susan’s behavior. “So sorry that happened. But she messed with the wrong lawyers. Fight and spread the word,” one friend wrote.
Another wrote, “My blood boils for you and your family. I literally cried when I heard your wife ask you to take your children inside so they don’t have to see the police. And to falsely call the cops on you, saying a Black man assaulted her, is a death threat to you. Thank God you and your wife were able to handle this and that some of your neighbors were true allies.”
The video was soon widely shared on Twitter as well, with several users posting what they believed to be Susan’s full name, address and place of employment. Several who said they lived in Montclair insisted that her behavior was not representative of their town.
One user said that police should start charging white women who abuse the power of police to harass people of color.
A Small Group of Protesters Marched Past Susan’s Home the Next Day, Chanting, ‘Your Racism Has Got to Go’
The day after the incident, a small group of protesters marched near Susan’s home on Marion Drive, according to Twitter users in the area. They peacefully marched, chanting, “Hey-hey, ho-ho, your racism has got to go!”
Sophia LaVergne, also of Montclair, told Heavy that she witnessed the “incredibly brief” protest. In a video Tweet, she said that Susan emerged from her home to record the protesters.
“They — mostly young people — marched from Sunset Park, up her street to the corner of Valley Road and Marion Road, and back down to Sunset Park before a majority had dispersed,” she said.
In another video Tweet, she showed police arriving in the area after most protesters had already cleared out.
Another user recorded some of the march and alleged that Susan called the police, claiming a brick had been thrown. “Not by this crowd!” he said.
Heavy reached out to the Montclair Police Department for their take on the incident, but had not heard back as of Tuesday evening. A phone number belonging to Susan, according to public records, had been disconnected.