A Virginia resident said she is constantly being passive-aggressively antagonized by a racist neighbor and there is nothing the police can do because the neighbor is not crossing a line.
Jannique Martinez is a Black military veteran who lives with her husband, also a vet, and their kids in a Salem Lakes cul de sac.
When she alerted the police about her neighbor who played loud music to "taunt" the community, the neighbor retaliated by playing sound bites of racial slurs and monkeys wailing every time she left the front door to her home.
She told local news station, 10 WAVY:
"Whenever we would step out of our house, the monkey noises would start. And it's so racist and it's disgusting."
The harassment started taking an emotional toll on her son.
"It's been non-stop with the n-word. My son is terrified of him. Teriffied, terrified."
"The n-word situation… they came to me and said, 'Mom, what's that?' I didn't subject my kids to that. I didn't think they would ever have to learn what this means."
Warning: racist language.
Martinez described to the news station the neighbor's intimidation tactics.
"The minute I open my front door, those lights blink, or my music, or 'my song' comes on. Soon as they get to their driveway, it blinks, they have a specific song too."
She added how he keeps close tabs on the activity of the residents in the cul de sac.
"We are constantly under surveillance. There are a total of eight cameras that we know of."
After being fed up with the lights and cameras, Martinez and her neighbors decided to take action, but it was to no avail.
"I've done everything in my possession. I've done everything I can to do it the right way."
The residents were told there's a fine line that determines when certain behaviors are identified as a crime, and playing a recording of a racial slur was not one of them.
"I actually felt like… helpless a little bit. Because I've gone to the magistrate, I've gone to civil court, I've talked to a lawyer. I've done everything in my possession to do it the right way."
"According to the law, it's just a statement or a phrase, or he's not doing enough or bodily harm or threats to my family, " said an exasperated Martinez.
"Why does it have to go that far before something that can be done? People shouldn't have to live like this."
"I spent 11 years in the military. My husband is also in the military. We fought for this country, but yet there's no one to fight for us."
In response to the report, the Virginia Beach Police Department issued a statement explaining what constitutes criteria for criminal charges.
"The city attorney and Virginia magistrates have separately determined that the actions reported thus far did not rise to a level that Virginia law defines as criminal behavior."
"This means the VBPD has had no authority to intervene and warrants were not supported."
The VBPD said they intend to continue investigating the complaints and help the family, "within the limits of the law," with "this most unpleasant situation."
On Friday, some members of the community gathered in front of the Jessamine courthouse to protest in the name of racial and inappropriate actions.