It should be common knowledge to most white Americans that calling the police on Black people when they’re simply minding their business is part of the reason the nation is on fire right now. In Montclair, N.J., a woman dubbed as “Permit Karen” tried it with a Black family building a patio on their property, but got expertly handled by the power couple who both know their rights and the law.
Via a Facebook post, Fareed Nassor Hayat, a professor of law at CUNY, shared a video of the exchange between him and his neighbor, which he named “Susan” and also used the “Permit Karen” nickname.
White entitlement and black hate embodied in Susan who lives on Marion Road and works at the EPA, called the police to lodge a false report of assault against me when told to leave our property. Susan, aka “Permit Karen,” came onto our property three times within thirty minutes to demand to know if we had the proper permit to install a stone patio in our backyard, on the other side of the fence of her yard.
When asked if a permit was required by law, she said she didn’t know, but insisted we answer her questions and submit to her demands, or she would call the police to force us to stop improving our home. (A permit is not required in Montclair for a stone patio this size. This fact was known to us through our own independent research, our contractor and later verified when building and safety arrived at our home to investigate her complaint.)
When challenged about her flawed legal conclusions, assumption of right, her lack of agency over our home and our eventual demand that she leave our property immediately, Susan decided to call the police and make a false report of assault. She invoked centuries of brutality in her call to the police and sought to put her black neighbors back in their place.
Adding to this, Susan claimed that Hayat pushed her while on the call with Montclair police, which some of Hayat’s white neighbors discredited. Further, those same white neighbors exhibited some allyship by telling Susan about the dangerous game of white righteousness she decided to play.
In Hayat’s post, he made mention of his wife, Norrinda Brown Hayat, and ended his salvo on a strong note.
“But to her surprise, her efforts were met by two proudly black human beings, parents, lawyers, law professors, [activists], community members, neighbors, citizens and fighters, who refused to submit.”
According to local outlet Tap Into Montclair, the woman in question is Susan Schulz and apparently works for the Environmental Protection Agency.
Watch Mr. Hayat’s video below.