Residents in a New Jersey neighborhood went to bat this week for a black couple who had the police called on them by a white neighbor they say has been harassing them for two years—an incident caught on video that's now gone viral. In a Monday Facebook post that included that 2.5-minute clip, attorney Fareed Hayat writes that "Permit Karen"—whom he IDs as his neighbor "Susan"—"came onto our property three times within thirty minutes to demand" whether he and his wife, Norrinda, had the proper paperwork for the stone patio they were putting in their backyard, just over the fence from Susan's (further identified by Law & Crime as EPA worker Susan Schulz). Not satisfied with the Hayats' answer that everything was legally in place, Schulz "decided to call the police and make a false report of assault" against Fareed Hayat, he wrote.
"The gentleman ... pushed me off his property," Schulz can be heard saying into the phone. "She's been waiting two years to do this!" Norrinda Hayat, also an attorney, can be heard saying. The Hayats tell WPIX and NBC News that Schulz has been harassing them since they moved into the neighborhood in 2018, on everything from a treehouse they built for their two young sons to the color of their house. However, as Schulz summoned the cops—"white entitlement and black hate embodied," Fareed Hayat wrote on Facebook—"a collection of largely white neighbors" stood up for the Hayats, "[refusing] to simply go along with her racist efforts," he added. Those witnesses told both Schulz and the police that an assault never happened. A protest in support of the Hayats took place Tuesday on their street. The Montclair Police Department confirms that officers did show up at the scene, but they're staying mum otherwise, noting "the matter is under investigation," per TMZ. (Read more New Jersey stories.)