A granddaughter of reggae singer-songwriter Bob Marley plans to file a lawsuit against the Rialto Police Department stemming from an encounter last month when officers were called to a residence — described by police as an unlicensed Airbnb rental — where the woman was staying.
Officers were dispatched to a call of a possible residential burglary in progress at 12:36 p.m. April 30 at a home in the 2600 block of West Loma Vista Drive in Rialto. The caller told police several people, who were not recognized as neighbors or the homeowner, were taking suitcases from the home and loading them into a vehicle that was backed into the driveway.
The Rialto Police Department was served notice Monday, May 7, of the “pending legal action filed on behalf of Donisha Prendergast” and two other people involved in the encounter, identified as Komi-Oluwa Olafimihan and Kelly Fyffee-Marshall, according to a department news release.
“Got surrounded by the police for being black in a white neighbourhood,” the artist Prendergast posted on her Instagram account April 30. “I’m sad and irritated to see that fear is still the first place police officers go in their pursuit to serve and protect, to the point that protocol supersedes their ability to have discernment.”
Prendergast’s manager Patricia Scarlett said all requests for interviews will be delayed until other information is released Tuesday, May 8.
“We have been advised by Donisha’s legal counsel to delay any and all interviews until they had had an opportunity to issue the press release as well as a longer version of the video that has gone viral,” Scarlett, founder and co-CEO of Media Business Institute, wrote in response to a request for comment on her website. “The press release and the video will be distributed tomorrow morning. Donisha is also traveling tomorrow morning and will not be available for an interview at the proposed time.”