A Black family and a group of their prominent Black friends were celebrating a birthday at a home in Forest Hills when they were hosed down by an angry white neighbor and threatened with a German Shepherd, according to a lawsuit filed earlier this month by Derek Sells and Mina Malik of The Cochran Firm New York.
The nine-course dinner party was catered by Vanessa Cantave, the winner of the reality show “Rocco’s Dinner Party” and was attended by many prominent figures in music, business, and law.
The group of friends, which included dinner party host Dr. Yves Duroseau, the first doctor to receive the COVID vaccine, a Dept. of Justice civil rights attorney, Department of Homeland Security administrator, CEOs, entrepreneurs, record company executives and public defenders, all gathered in the backyard garden of the home on Saturday, September 17, 2022, and were getting ready to wrap up a dinner party around 10 p.m. when their hosts’ next door neighbor sprayed them numerous times with a water hose over the fence.
“I was appalled and outraged to see water hoses and German shepherds being used against people of color in New York City in 2022. I was in complete disbelief.”
Malik added that everyone who attended the party was left, “deeply scarred” by the experience and “felt degraded and humiliated and made to feel like they were no longer human.”
Videos released showed sprays of water coming over the top of the fence, and some of the guests say that they were sprayed away as they attempted to approach the fence to speak with the disgruntled neighbor.
The shocked party guests called the police as they attempted to diffuse the volatile situation. Two NYPD officers responded to take a report, but there has neem no follow-up since then, even though the incident should have been investigated as a hate crime, according to Derek Sells.
“He sprayed them as if they were farm animals, and it harkens back to images that have been burned into our minds of the situations that took place in our country during the Civil Rights era.”
The lawsuit names neighbor Marcus Rosebrock and an unidentified white woman who entered the party hosts’ home with a menacing German Shepherd to force the dinner party to end. The claims include assault, trespassing, and damaging property.
“…an attack I believe was premeditated, deliberate and thought out with the intent to make us feel less than, like animals. Water hoses have long been used against people of color. Mr. Rosebrock chose this specific method with the intent of dehumanizing us.”
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