Students Protest On Marion Road As Montclair Police Investigate Dispute Between Neighbors

UPDATE: July 2: Montclair Police sent this update statement previously released by Deputy Chief Wilhelm Young:

On June 29, 2020 at approximately 12:23 PM, police responded to a dispute between neighbors regarding construction being done on the property of a residence on Norman Road. During the dispute, the neighbor who questioned the homeowner states that she was pushed by the homeowner, but witnesses say that they did not observe any physical contact. The Department does not have any reports of any of the involved parties having previous disputes with any neighbors. As of this writing, no charges have been filed against anyone involved in this incident, which is still under investigation. No further information is available at this time.

Update: ABC7News spoke with the couple, the Hayats, with regarding the incident.

MONTCLAIR, NJ – Students organized a brief, peaceful protest Tuesday afternoon, starting at Sunset Park and ending at Marion and Valley Roads, in response to a video shared Monday showing a dispute between two neighbors that is now being investigated by Montclair Police.

The dispute, captured in a video that went viral on social media, shows one neighbor, a white woman, calling the police on her black neighbors, after an argument about a patio being built on their property. The white woman alleged that she was pushed off the property. The black couple denies touching the woman, adding that the woman had repeatedly come onto their property to ask if they had a permit for work being done and would not get off their property when asked to do so. Other neighbors seen on the video support the couple and tell the woman to not call the police.

Montclair Police confirmed that they responded to a call of a dispute Monday between the neighbors on Marion Road in Montclair. There were no complaints signed by either party involved, however the incident is under investigation at this time, according to Montclair Police Deputy Chief Wilhelm Young.

Students marched from Sunset Park to Marion Road Tuesday, wearing masks and carrying signs that said “Stop Calling the Police” and chanting “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Your Racism Has Got To Go.” Protestors also wrote messages in chalk on Marion Road. Six police cars were on the scene at Marion Road shortly after the protest had ended.

Photos: Chanda Hall

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Ridiculous!! It’s one person’s word against another. She says they pushed her they say they didn’t! Do we know? Did they have a permit? So we have no proof yet of what actually happened, yet there is a protest claiming it was a racist act? So now a black person and a white person can’t have a dispute?? It’s automatically racism against the black person?? Way out of control!!

  2. It has happened again. White entitlement and black hate embodied in Susan who lives on Marion Road and works at the EPA, called the police to lodge a false report of assault against me when told to leave our property. Susan, aka “Permit Karen,” came onto our property three times within thirty minutes to demand to know if we had the proper permit to install a stone patio in our backyard, on the other side of the fence of her yard. When asked if a permit was required by law, she said she didn’t know, but insisted we answer her questions and submit to her demands, or she would call the police to force us to stop improving our home. (A permit is not required in Montclair for a stone patio this size. This fact was known to us through our own independent research, our contractor and later verified when building and safety arrived at our home to investigate her complaint.) 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. 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. Her efforts were also met by a collection of largely white neighbors, who refused to simply go along with her racist efforts or not stand up against her attempt to invoke the racist power of the state through police. Their efforts were antiracist ideology at work. Each neighbor declared to her and the police that she summoned, that she was a lie and no such assault occurred. She 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. She did not see the flaw in her ways or apologize for her behavior. Her type, the racist, must be rejected and ostracized like she was today by Norrinda and I, but equally important, by our white neighbors here in Montclair and our white and non-white allies worldwide.

  3. PMK – there were witnesses that confirm she was not pushed. No permit was required for that type of work. You should gather your facts before defending bigotry.

  4. If there’s a silver lining in all of this, I’m glad that racists like Susan are now in the public spotlight. Thank you for your inspiring words, Koko.

  5. Were Susan’s actions necessarily motivated by racism? Does anyone know her well enough, have any previous information or proof to answer this question? It is certainly plausible that her actions were based on a straight forward neighbor-to-neighbor disagreement. She did not use any slur’s, biased or otherwise offensive language. Why is everyone suddenly making this a race issue? She seems more like a pain in the ass neighbor than she does anything else. That said, is there more history here? If so, of what nature?

    @Pmk – ” It’s automatically racism against the black person??” That was never the story here. No one accusing the Hayat’s of that. It is the presumptive racism of Susan. Follow the story.

  6. Greene987 you should tell me where I defended bigotry? I asked for the facts you have no idea what my opinion was going to be! So now someone is not aloud to ask for the facts?? It makes them a bigot?? Don’t make up stuff to start trouble!!

  7. I support the BLM movement and I am antiracist. Koko, I think you were wronged.

    I didn’t get the EPA employment reference. Was it she was an employee of an overtly racist state agency?

    Also, the Council (and many others) think highly of our police department. So, inserting “…invoke the racist power of the state through police.” deserves some elaboration. Is there a specific callout against the MPD?

  8. Apparently no public statement from our new Mayor nor the Deputy Mayor/1st Ward Councilman. They were too busy giving each other awards today.

  9. @silverleaf I totally agree with you. I believe this Susan is a pain in the a** a nosey neighbor who should mind her business and her neighbors have every right to want her off their property? My comment about race was because the protesters were chanting your racism isn’t welcome here. Was it just a coincidence?

  10. @Pmk – While your second sentence seeming sounds like a declarative statement, it ends with a question mark. Forgive me, but everything that you have said on the post is difficult to follow. Was what just a coincidence?

  11. @silverleaf You accused me of making this about racism. I said that statement with a question mark because the protesters were chanting not to make it about racism. Which led me to believe someone was claiming this was racially motivated.

  12. @Pmk – STOP THIS BS NOW !!!!!

    Cut and paste the statement where I accused you of “making this about racism.”

  13. There is so much to unpack here. Let’s put racism aside for a moment.

    It was none of her business about their permit and if she had such a need to find out there are proper channels. Permit Karen was looking to cause a problem because she felt entitled.

    Her claim that she was pushed and pushed 10 feet is bs, we know it, her neighbors know it and even she knows it that is why the juvenile attempt at oh but look at my arm. So, we now have entitled and dishonest.

    Now let’s focus on that oh look at my arm moment. When she approached the woman obviously wearing a mask and trying to social distance, she didn’t care about her neighbor at all as she approached her.

    Now we are up to entitled, dishonest, selfish and self-centered.

    All that equals a garbage person.

    But it isn’t over yet.

    Oh no Permit Karen had one more moment in her 15 minutes.

    When she said she should have brought “her boys”. What a pathetic passive aggressive threat. OMG I can’t even wrap my head around how clueless she is here. This is the age of doxing. This is the age of Karen’s caught on tape. And here she is doubling down and tossing “her boys” under the bus with her. I’m assuming “her boys” are her sons. How is she going to feel when her soon to come out apology is fully rejected and her sons are now part of the aftermath. What will she have to say when their school, athletic program, significant others, employers or friends decide to distance themselves from “her boys” and the POS upbringing she put on display? Apples don’t fall far from the tree.

  14. Oh boy, I should have put the popcorn earlier! This actually getting quite sad. I wise man once wrote “We are most bothered by the qualities of others that we ourselves possess.” As a long time resident of Montclair that has renovated a few houses I have had the authorities called on me several times by smile in your face pain in the ass neighbors. (everything was legal) At least this woman didn’t hide. Malcolm X used to say it is better to deal with a wolf than a fox. You can see the wolf coming.

  15. @hrhppg – “All that equals a garbage person.”

    Emmm, That’s one heck of a strong statement. Not cool and certainly not fair to take a brief video and make a judgement like that. I mean really. This woman’s future may virtually be hanging in the balance. As I said earlier, from what I saw, I do not believe it was a racially inspired act. For a moment, consider the fact that she works for the EPA. I would think that people who work for that organization are pretty compulsive about building permits, regs, etc. BTW, everyone knows my record. I am all in on BLM, but to attach a racial motive here is unfair. That said, Susan, you have some splanin’ to do.

  16. @flipside Old White Men need to shut up, flip.

    But since you won’t, your inability to understand why a white woman calling the police on a black couple ALLEGING VIOLENCE WHEN NONE HAS OCCURRED isn’t just pathetic, it’s ugly and it’s quite telling.

  17. @silverleaf Someone who is compulsive about permits should know better than to be on her neighbor’s property 3 times in 30 minutes while being asked to leave when there are actual channels for finding out of they even needed a permit.

    My post specifically said to put race aside for the moment and laid out valid points for why she is a garbage person. You can disagree on that, but I think you are in the minority. I didn’t attach a racial motive to anything.

    And it wasn’t cool of me to make judgement on the lady who was making an assumption and judgement on her own neighbors? Double standard much?

    But let me add to my original post. Do you see pockets on those shorts? No, which means she specifically bought her phone to call someone and make trouble. More of her passive aggressive bullying. How about the part where she has her phone, an audience who she realizes isn’t going to back her up and she asks them to stop filming? Do you think that is when she realized she was unhinged and out of line? I didn’t hear an I’m sorry come out of her up until then very loud mouth.

    The good thing is how much Mountie Pride I have today for the students and protestors who marched in response. Thank you!

  18. @hrhppg Let me deconstruct that and I’ll be back in a jiff. In meantime, “Do you see pockets on those shorts?” Help us with that, would you.

    BTW, you and I typically on same page, but not in this case. It happens on occasion.

  19. Jcunn…you assume I am old and white….interesting. Always good to know your special type of vitriol is alive and well. I will gladly accept your bitterness if it spares others of having it directed towards them. You’re a peach…I will blow you a kiss! Peace and love.

  20. Yes, the pockets paragraph was a bridge too far. However, even if I give Susan every benefit of the doubt, I am not dissuaded whatsoever in the wrong the Hayats were subjected to by Susan. They were building a patio. A patio. They weren’t demolishing the historic Lackawanna Train Station. They were not contributing to global warming. They were not cutting down trees. They were on their property. Susan’s behavior was indefensible in any year, any time.

  21. Frank, I don’t think anyone is defending Susan’s behavior. The big question is would she have done the same thing to a white neighbor? At this point no one knows. BTW, now I know who ratted me out for cutting down a tree on my property. It was diseased and threatening mine and my neighbor’s house…and I had a permit. The town arborist paid a visit to follow up on the complaint. Quite annoying at the time but that’s Montclair for you.

  22. It is an open question, but not a big question for me. You also asked the wrong question, as did many others. You would be better served, under the circumstances of this event, to ask an open-ended Big Question.

    FWIW, I think people are multi-dimensional in their bias & discrimination. While race was a likely factor, I don’t think it was the primary driver. How would you ask your question now?

    PS: I’m not getting your tree story.

  23. Frank, Motivation is tough to judge without reading someone’s mind….though mind reading seems to be in fashion these days. I would rather give someone the benefit of the doubt and like all stories their are 3 sides and usually more to it than meets the eye. That said I wouldn’t want Susan as my neighbor but neighbors like that do exist and can be won over.
    As for the tree…you mentioned “they were not cutting down trees.” So I was joking that it was you who called the town on me…ha, probably was.

  24. No, wasn’t me, but you thinking it was must makes us neighbors!

    Yes, there is absolutely more to this story…but, the news cycle is over.