Police in Nashville, Tennessee, charged a man with assault last week for taking a swing at a parking garage worker during an alleged racial profiling incident that was filmed and posted to social media.
The man, Edward Brennan, and his mother, Bitsy Brennan, were badgering Johnny Martinez — who works for a company that enforces parking rules — over his presence in the parking garage below their apartment complex on Nov. 27. After Edward Brennan lunged at Martinez, who had begun filming, his mother called the police to report Martinez for being “nasty.”
Bitsy and Edward Brennan are white, while Martinez is Black, which prompted a wave of people calling the incident racist ― the latest viral example of a white woman calling the police on a Black person for petty reasons.
According to a copy of Edward Brennan’s Dec. 2 arrest warrant obtained by HuffPost, Martinez was hit in his left arm, “knocking an item from his key chain to the ground.”
In video of the incident, Bitsy Brennan demands to see Martinez’s identification. Martinez wrote on social media that his ID badge was hanging from his neck the entire time; video from the scene shows Martinez wearing a lanyard.
He said that he noticed the pair following him while he walked around the garage checking parking permits.
According to Martinez, “the first words” Bitsy Brennan said to him were, “You don’t belong here. How did you get in here?”
Martinez said that he told the Brennans that he was there doing his job. Later in the video, Martinez can be heard telling them that it was “none of your business” what he was doing.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Martinez said Brennan nearly punched him in the face, and that the incident left him feeling shocked and anxious.
“I felt like crap,” he told the outlet.
Martinez said he waited for police to show up to the scene after the mother-son duo left, and filed a report.
The Daily Mail reported that Bitsy Brennan was fired from her job at the financial services provider UBS, which did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.