VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — For Jannique Martinez and her family, a man who lives one house down in their Salem Lake cul de sac will be known as the worst neighbor they’ve ever had.
“For the most part, we ignored it and obviously ignoring it just gave him more power,” said Martinez.
It’s been quiet as of late, but Martinez says music would play loudly over her neighbor’s speakers, shaking her home. After alerting police about the music, she says things got even worse. Her neighbor retaliated by playing racial slurs and monkey noises whenever they stepped out of the house.
But Saturday morning, a different noise echoed through the Virginia Beach neighborhood.
Activists and community members gathered in a nearby grocery store parking lot before beginning their march to a Salem Lake cul de sac.
“What we’re doing is we’re going to show the community but more importantly show the neighbor that we stand in solidarity with Ms. Martinez and that we understand its quiet now, but our expectation is that it stays that way,” said Richmond activist Russell Tee.
It didn’t take long for them to hike half a mile to let Martinez know they’ve got her back.
“I was raised to love thy neighbor, I was raised to believe we are all equal,” said community member, Wendy Mason as she walked.
“I truly appreciate it anyone who’s willing to make noise for change; it’s a good feeling,” said Martinez after stepping outside to see the show of solidarity.
Martinez says no one should have to live like her family did, so if there’s truly nothing Virginia Beach Police can do about it, something’s got to give/
“In the next year, hopefully, we can get with some council members, mayor, governor, whoever wants to speak to me and get my story and understand what we’ve been through to understand that a law needs to change,” said Martinez.
There’s peace at least for now, as she looks to take it from the street to the courtroom.
“We’ve spoken to a few lawyers and we’re working through it, there’s not much I can say about that, but we definitely plan on going to court,” said Martinez.