Police investigating response after detaining black Airbnb guests when neighbor called police

Police investigating response after detaining black Airbnb guests when neighbor called police
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Three black guests at an Airbnb in California were briefly detained by police after a neighbor called authorities as they were preparing to leave the house.

Police said that the neighbor called because the guests didn't wave or smile at her as they were leaving the Airbnb on April 30, CNN reported on Friday. 

The Rialto Police Department said it is investigating the response, and released bodycam footage earlier this week, according to the local ABC affiliate.

Rialto Mayor Pro Tem Ed Scott on Tuesday defended the officers who responded to the call, saying they acted "very professionally."

The three black guests, Kelly Fyffe-Marshall, Donisha Prendergast and Komi-Oluwa Olafimihan, were also traveling with another person, a white woman. But the neighbor who made the phone call to authorities did not mention the white woman, attorneys for the three guests said.


Jasmine Rand, an attorney for the three black guests, said on Thursday that the fact that the white guest wasn't mentioned in the call to police should be considered evidence that the call was racially motivated, according to CNN. 

As the guests were taking their luggage to their car, police appeared and ordered them to put their hands up. They were detained for roughly 20 to 45 minutes, CNN reported. 

Attorneys for the three guests are calling for the Rialto Police Department to investigate how officers responded to the call. 

The detention came amid a series of other incidents in which people of color were racially profiled.

Last month, two black men were arrested after taking a seat in a Philadelphia Starbucks without purchasing anything. And in another incident, two Native American men were pulled off a campus tour at Colorado State University after a parent called campus police because she was "nervous."

This week, a black Yale University student was interrogated by campus police after a white student reported her for sleeping in her dorm common room.