Mikisa Thompson was listening to Malcolm X speeches in her own yard in Garner, N.C. Thompson’s 65-year-old white neighbor, Don Barnette, called 911 on April 22 to complain that Thompson had been listening to “loud Islamic-Muslim preaching” in her backyard.
In response, on May 16, nearly a dozen police officers raided Thompson’s home with a search warrant and took a MacBook, an HP laptop, a computer monitor, seven iPhones, computer speakers, an alarm clock and charging cables. Thompson was also ordered to appear in court – just for allegedly violating the city’s noise ordinance.
Thompson used her cell phone to broadcast the incident on Twitter, later sharing the video on YouTube:
But Thompson’s daughter Takiyah thinks that it’s retaliation for her activism. Takiyah was on national news for toppling a Confederate statue in Durham, N.C.
“What you may not know is.. in 2017 I put a rope around the neck of a Confederate soldier and folks pulled it down. My charges got dropped,” Takiyah wrote in a tweet.
According to the search warrant, Barnette described Malcolm X’s speeches as “Islamic-Jihadist type messages.”
this is the warrant from 4/22/19 pic.twitter.com/8noE2qyDAJ
— hannah (@povssey_) May 17, 2019
Thompson posted the 911 call on Twitter:
One of the 911 calls to complain about Muslim Preachings of Malcom X pic.twitter.com/VmqpV21L02
— MikisaThompson (@Blackmomrade) May 21, 2019
Police claim that they were responding to the volume of the noise, not the content of the messaging.
But that’s unlikely, considering nine police officers showed up for a supposed noise ordinance that carries a maximum penalty of a $500 fine. Police issued Thompson a summons to appear in court on June 24.
“The raid was officially insane and based on an unconstitutional statute,” said T. Greg Doucette, Thompson’s attorney. “Doing a midnight raid with nine officers—over a noise ordinance, of all things—is a disproportionate show of force that shows there’s something else at play. That’s the type of overkill that’s intentionally designed to terrorize and punish people, not to actually do what’s necessary for enforcing the case.”