Black friends stopped by police leaving California Airbnb demand accountability

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- The granddaughter of Bob Marley and her three friends say they want police and a neighbor held accountable regarding a burglary that was reported when they were leaving an Airbnb rental in California, and they are demanding a top-to-bottom review of the incident.

Three of them held a press conference in Harlem Thursday to speak out about the experience.

Donisha Prendergast and her friends, Kelly Fyffe-Marshall and Komi-Oluwa Olafimihan, all of whom are black, plus an additional friend who is white, were leaving the home in Rialto on April 30 when a white neighbor called 911 and reported strangers carrying bags out of the house.

They also say they were accused of lying when they explained their presence.

Police officers detained the group for 22 minutes while they contacted the homeowner. Rialto police say the department's response was polite and brief. They never drew their weapons, and some engaged in joking chatter with the renters while they checked out their story.

An attorney on Thursday called for an investigation into how police handled the situation and suggested the neighbor who called 911 should be investigated for filing a false report.

"We want to meet with the Rialto Police Department, we will meet with the mayor, we will meet with Airbnb, we will meet with the neighbor, we will meet with the homeowner, we will meet with the community members, ones who have been affected by this moment and even before this moment," Predergast said. "Because we are ambassadors and vicars for whatever message this is that the universe is trying to transmit right now."

The woman claimed there was a burglary in progress.

Prendergast said she felt like her life was put in danger and that she felt she was singled out because she is black.

She cited instances where innocent black people have been shot by police.

"Just because I am here living to tell this story doesn't make it any more right," she said. "Just because I wasn't bound and handcuffed on the ground, my blood is not running in the streets, doesn't make it any less violent. What happened to all of us is indignity. There was no respect and no honor."

Rialto police released video footage showing that the officers were professional during the encounter, but those who were stopped are calling for the 911 call and the bodycam footage from all officers to be released.

The group has hired an attorney, but so far, there have been no lawsuits filed. Still, they say they have not ruled out future legal action.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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