RIALTO (CBSLA) — Rialto police released body camera footage Tuesday in an effort to defend themselves against claims they mistreated a group of young filmmakers, including the granddaughter of reggae legend Bob Marley.
On April 30, a woman called the police when she saw Marley’s granddaughter, Donisha Prendergast, and friends carrying suitcases out of a rented Rialto home.
“It’s code black,” one of the women can be heard saying in jest, but the allegations are serious.
Prendergast claims she was racially profiled by police, but the department says that’s not true.
Three of the four people leaving the Airbnb were black, but police say it wasn’t their race that raised suspicions of the neighbor.
Police say the woman was prompted to call police because she didn’t know the home was being used as an Airbnb.
“I wasn’t being nosy, I was just being observant,” the woman who contacted authorities said to police.
Interim Rialto Police Department Chief Mark King says there has been an uptick in property crime in that part of town, and he appreciates the neighbor reporting what she thought could have been a burglary.
Rialto police say the released body camera video of the controversial confrontation shows that no force was used and that the responding officers did everything they should have done.
“I think that this video really showed the fact that people are too quick to rush to judgment not getting all the facts in first,” Rialto resident Harry Bratton told CBS2 Tuesday.
“I think that’s a rather unfair judgment, being a long-term resident here,” said local Estevan Bennett. “We are a diverse community.”
Representatives for Prendergrast told CBS2 they would be releasing their own statement Wednesday morning.