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Detroit man suing three women he says called police on him for 'gardening while black'

Detroit man suing three women he says called police on him for 'gardening while black'
© Marc Peeples

A black Detroit man is suing three white women for damages after they allegedly called police multiple times to stop him from visiting a public park in his old neighborhood, NBC News reported Tuesday.

The 33-year-old Marc Peeples claimed in a lawsuit that Deborah Nash, Martha Callahan and Jennifer Morris fabricated complaints to the Detroit Police between July 2017 and May 2018 while Peeples was trying to cultivate a community garden in a city park.

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The three women sought to have Peeples "incarcerated or seriously injured by law enforcement," according to the suit filed in Wayne County Third Circuit Court in Michigan.

Peeples and his attorney, Robert Burton-Harris, described the situation to NBC as a case of "gardening while black."

In March 2018, the three women met with the Detroit Police Department and made accusations against Peeples, including that he had stolen from homes near the park and that he had threatened to burn down their homes and kill them, according to the lawsuit and a trial transcript obtained by NBC.

Peeples was charged with three counts of stalking based on the threats the women alleged.

District Judge E. Lynise Bryant dismissed the stalking case before it went to jury in October of 2018, describing it as "disgusting and a waste of the court's time and resources."

The judge said the women "should be sitting at the defendant's table for stalking and harassment charges," not Peeples.

“From the bottom of my heart, I believe race was a motivating factor and an injustice has been done to this man,” Bryant said, according to NBC.

This new lawsuit claims Peeples suffered economic injury, including lost job opportunities and canceled contracts, because of the charges.

NBC could not immediately reach Nash, Callahan or Morris for comment.