Seven police cars and a helicopter swarmed four unarmed women, three of whom were black, who were renting an Airbnb in California on April 30.
One of the women, Kells Fyffe-Marshall, posted a video of the incident on Facebook and noted that the police sergeant in charge of the militarized force was unaware of what Airbnb rentals were:
He insisted that we were lying about it and said we had to prove it. We showed them the booking confirmations and phoned the landlord.
We have been dealing with different emotions and you want to laugh about this but it’s not funny. The trauma is real.
I’ve been angry, frustrated and sad. I was later detained at the airport. The cops admit that the woman’s reason for calling the police was because we didn’t wave to her as she looked at us putting our luggage into our car from her lawn.
Airbnb defended the women in a statement:
Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere and we have aggressively worked to fight bias and discrimination in society. We encourage anyone in similar situations to contact us.
We are also reaching out to our partners at the NAACP, National Action Network, Color Of Change, and others to discuss this matter and ensure we are doing all we can to protect our community when they travel.
(Source: Kells Fyffe-Marshall/Facebook)