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'Permit Karen': Viral Video Of Fight Between NJ Black Couple, White Neighbor Sparks Protest

The footage was posted to Facebook by Fareed Nassar Hayat of Montclair on Monday evening.
The footage was posted to Facebook by Fareed Nassar Hayat of Montclair on Monday evening. Photo Credit: Fareed Nassar Hayat

Footage of a white woman accused of harassing her black neighbors has gone viral and brought dozens of protestors to the North Jersey street where the alleged dispute over a backyard patio went down.

The footage was posted to Facebook by Fareed Nassar Hayat of Montclair on Monday evening.

Hayat said his neighbor Susan, who he refers to as "Permit Karen," called the police on him and his wife Norrinda Brown Hayat three times in 30 minutes to lodge a false assault complaint. 

Susan apparently had come onto the couple's property three times in 30 minutes, demanding to know if he and his wife had the proper permit to install a stone patio in his backyard. When the Hayat's refused to answer her questions and tried to kick her off their property, she called police to lodge a false report of assault, Hayat said.

Montclair police told they responded to an altercation on Marion Road -- where Hayat said Susan lives. The incident is under investigation, police said.

"A permit is not required in Montclair for a stone patio this size," Hayat wrote in the video caption. 

"This fact was known to us through our own independent research, our contractor and later verified when building and safety arrived at our home to investigate her complaint.

"She invoked centuries of brutality in her call to the police and sought to put her black neighbors back in their place," Hayat said. "She believed that we were required to answer her questions and smile while doing so. But to her surprise, her efforts were met by two proudly black human beings, parents, lawyers, law professors, activist, community members, neighbors, citizens and fighters, who refused to submit."

Chants of "Hey Hey Ho Ho, your racism has got to go" echoed through the Hayat's neighborhood Tuesday night when nearly 40 protestors gathered on Marion Road, carrying signs that read "White Entitlement is Violence" and "#NotHere." 

The protestors were mostly white, Hayat said, and "refused to simply go along with her racist efforts or not stand up against her attempt to invoke the racist power of the state through police. 

"Their efforts were antiracist ideology at work."

Hayat's video had more than 10,000 shares as of Wednesday afternoon, and garnered hundreds of comments from supporters -- many calling the situation shameful and apologizing for what he and his family have endured.

"Fareed, I don't want to laden your FB with expletives," one person wrote. "I'm so sorry that you and your family have to experience this racist BS. Stay stronger - we got your back!"

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