Two Black Women Say They Were Ignored By Police After Reporting Racist Neighbor

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A mother and daughter are opening up about the horror they experienced after moving into their new apartment in June. 

Tasha and NuBrit’tany Smith moved into the Landings at Morrison Apartment Complex in Gersham, OR, where they were antagonized by their 19-year-old neighbor, Dominic Austin. According to reports, Austin would threaten the mother/daughter duo through their Ring security camera.

“You have to make sure you look outside your peep-hole. You look at your Ring camera before you exit your home,” NuBrit’tany said. “Honestly, it’s like you live inside of a jail or something.” Other tenants have reported that they have seen Austin holding a knife in his hands. 

Smith added, “We were terrified, we were upset, we didn’t know what was going on.” After the first incident took place in June, both the police and property management were made aware of the incident. Smith said, “Instantly we took the videos from the Ring camera, attached them to an email and sent them to the Landings at the Morrison.” 

Their attorney, Greg Kafoury, said that they should have been protected. “Part of the rental agreement says that if a tenant should threaten another tenant, the landlord can throw the offender out in 24 hours notice.” 

However, the issues between the neighbors kept piling up after asking for help multiple times from the police and property management. The Smiths say that they were ignored. “As a Black woman, we (my mother and me), I felt that we weren’t heard,” NuBrit’tany said. “I feel that we were not important.” 

Kafoury added, “The people who run this very large apartment complex didn’t give a damn. The police didn’t give a damn. And I don’t know how anyone can look at those videos and come to any other conclusion.” 

Austin was given a notice on September 8th by property management and then an eviction notice was filed two weeks later. The Gresham police department released a statement in regards to the incident. 

“We are aware of the terrible conduct of the suspect in this case, including statements that indicate the motivation for the crime is hate or bias. We share in our communities’ concern and appreciate the unique impact bias crimes, in particular, have on victims.” 

The statement continued, “Although the suspect has been arrested and is currently in custody, the investigation is continuing. We are working with the district attorney’s office to ensure the suspect is charged with the appropriate crimes. As with all cases where a concern about our response is brought to our attention, we will review our response to identify ways to improve our service to the community.”