woman on phone
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Black Michigan Woman Issued $385 Ticket for Having a Loud Cellphone Call Outside Her Home

Diamond Robinson was minding her own business, walking up and down the sidewalk on the street she lives on in Eastpointe, Michigan, talking on her cellphone when a neighbor, who had recently moved into the neighborhood, approached her and told her she was talking too loudly. A few minutes later, three police officers arrived and issued the woman a $385 ticket for a “noise” disturbance.

In an interview with Fox 2 Detroit, Robinson said she was walking down the sidewalk when her new neighbor approached and demanded that she “get off her phone or talk lower.”

Robinson said she replied to the neighbor, saying, “get out of my face” and continued walking and talking. Three white police officers arrived shortly thereafter.

Taylor Ardrey of The Insider reported that police in Eastpointe then arrived and confronted Robinson about the situation, telling her to go inside her home or risk going to jail. That’s when she started recording the encounter on Facebook Live.

“I’m not doing anything. I’m on the phone walking up and down the block that I pay taxes on. I’m confused,” Robinson says in the video, which currently has over 30,000 views.

As the discussion with the officials continued, the officers then told Robinson they were writing her a ticket for “being a public nuisance” and talking too loudly on her phone. One of the officers then placed the ticket in her mailbox.

“No, I’m not accepting that,” Robinson countered. “I get a ticket for being a public nuisance because I’m talking too loud on my phone?”

According to Ardrey, “Robinson, who’s Black, told Fox 2 Detroit that she believed race was a factor; the report said the person who had called the police was a white woman new to the neighborhood.”

During her Facebook Live video and in interviews after the event, Robinson said she plans on fighting the ticket in court. She also plans on installing surveillance cameras outside her home for extra security.

In their own statement, the Eastpointe Police Department said officers arrived at the scene and issued the noise complaint after Robinson “refused to participate in the investigation.”

“Based on Ms. Robinson’s responses, the officers believed that the disorderly behavior would continue when they left,” the department wrote. “The officers opted to use the least intrusive resolution for the situation by issuing a civil infraction citation rather than misdemeanor violations and/or arrest.”

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.

 

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