A Virginia Navy veteran is sharing her story about months of harassment from a racist neighbor, but police say they're powerless to do anything, Stars and Stripes reports.
Speaking to CNN's Don Lemon, Jannique Martinez, who is Black, said she moved with her family to Virginia Beach five years ago. Soon after, her neighbor blares recordings of monkey noises and racial slurs whenever she or her family would step out of the house, making her 7-year-old son terrified of the man.
But police say there's isn't much they can do about it.
"As appalling and offensive as the neighbors' behaviors are, the city attorney and Virginia magistrates have separately determined that the actions reported thus far did not rise to the level that Virginia law defines as criminal behavior," police said Thursday.
Speaking to CNN, Martinez, who was in the Navy for 11 years, described how the man reacted when she once tried to confront him over his behavior.
"His response to me was, 'Well, let me call the police to make sure I'm in good standing with the law to play my music,'" she said. "I was floored, because how about you just be a neighborly person, a parent, just anything to understand where I'm coming from, and he was adamant that he was doing nothing wrong."
After receiving little help from the police, Martinez took her case to the local magistrate, which was "a little more compassionate" but told her that if the man did not threaten the family or pose bodily harm, there was nothing that could be done.
"Leaving the courtroom, I felt deflated," she said. "I just felt like I couldn't protect my kids. I couldn't imagine living like this in my own home. It really broke my heart."
"We fought for this country, but yet there's no one to fight for us," she said.
Watch her appearance on CNN below:
Black woman says neighbor harasses family with monkey noises www.youtube.com