A black woman in Los Angeles is hoping for change after volunteers at a church asked her to leave their lawn by posting “no trespassing” signs and saying “all lives matter.”
“I was looking up different campgrounds and looking to plan out my route,” she told BuzzFeed News.
She ended up on the lawn outside St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church, a place she’d been before. Ten minutes after arriving, trouble started.
First, it was two local security workers on bikes who told her they’d received a call about her presence and that they were advising her to go. They said if she didn’t go, the next step would likely be that whoever complained would call the police.
“I said that was an unusual choice considering I was a person sitting on grass,” Marshall-Brown said.
She said she politely declined to leave and the security workers rode away.
“My spidey senses are tingling and I’m trying to figure out who made that call,” she said.
That’s when she noticed a woman in a window across the way at an elementary school affiliated with the church. Marshall-Brown said the woman looked away when she noticed Marshall-Brown had seen her. Soon after, another woman came out of the school and checked the locks on the church, she said.
At that point, Marshall-Brown said she was feeling very uncomfortable and posted on Facebook about what was happening.
“I wanted to make sure at least that existed before whatever else came next,” she said.
Two men then came out with “no trespassing” signs, which is when Marshall-Brown took out her phone and started recording.
The two men do not speak to Marshall-Brown initially as they prepare to put the signs up, until she says “hello.”
“Welcome,” the man with the drill says.
“Am I?” Marshall-Brown replies.
“No,” he says.
In the five-minute video, the man with the drill can be seen telling Marshall-Brown she’s on private property and that they’ve had “problems” with people in the past. She presses him, asking if she poses a threat to them as they continue to put up the sign.