'You Don't Belong Here': Woman and Son Call Police on Black Employee in Viral Video

A now-viral video showed the moment a white woman and her son called the police on a Black employee for allegedly trespassing at an apartment building in Nashville.

The video, shared both on Reddit's "Karen" forum and YouTube by the employee named Johnny Martinez, received more than 115,000 views and thousands of comments since it was posted on Sunday.

In the caption of the video, Martinez explained that on the evening of November 27 he was doing his job checking for car permits at the River House Apartments. He said a woman and her son confronted him and accused them of following him around earlier.

"While performing a routine parking permit audit on the premises for my employer the duo confronted me at a nearby elevator," the caption read. "The first words that came out of the Karen's mouth were 'you don't belong here, how did you get in here.'"

He explained that the video begins after the initial confrontation and that "the rest is Karen history."

At the start of the video, the woman tells Martinez that she wanted to know what his job was and why he was in the parking garage. He replies that it was none of her business.

She and her son continue to berate Martinez, telling him he didn't live at the apartment and that they were going to contact the police.

"You wanna call the cops?" Martinez asks the woman's son.

"Yeah," he replies. "This is not your apartment."

He then asks Martinez if he had any identification on him, but Martinez says that he doesn't owe either of them any justification for being in the parking garage. In the caption of the video, Martinez explained he had an ID hanging from his neck that was visible.

"They knew what I was doing and just wanted to demean me by telling me I didn't belong and trying to force me to show them ID," the text read.

According to the footage, Martinez and the woman continue talking as her son approaches Martinez and appears to try to hit the phone out of his hand.

"Dude seriously? You're attacking me," Martinez says as the man's mother yells at the pair to stop.

Eventually, the woman pulls out her cell phone and calls 911. In the video, Martinez encourages her to call and says he wants to press charges against her son for "attacking" him. The woman and her son continue to yell at Martinez, claiming no one touched him and that it is their business to know why he was at the complex.

The woman's son eventually tells her to "stay away from this dangerous man," but she continues asking how he got into the building. After more arguing, she eventually calls the police.

"There's some gentleman down here, we asked him what he was doing down here and he said it's none of our business," the woman says over the phone. "He's kind of gotten nasty toward us so we kind of are trying to figure out why this person is in the parking deck and he will not tell us why he's here, says none of our business."

The woman's son adds that Martinez refused to show them any ID and that it's a secure building. While she is on the phone, Martinez says to mention that he is a Black man.

"I don't care what color you are," the woman replies.

Woman on Phone
A woman and her son allegedly harassed a Black employee and called the police on him at an apartment complex in Nashville. The video, which has been viewed more than 115,000 times, shows the son attempt to throw the employee's phone out of his hand. Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images

Many have called for stricter repercussions for those who call the police for racially motivated incidents. State lawmakers across the United States are attempting to crack down on unnecessary police intervention in those types of instances.

In San Francisco, lawmakers passed the "CAREN" Act, which makes it a hate crime to place a racist 911 call. The legislation, introduced by local politician Shamann Walton, will penalize those who exploit community resources in an attempt to harass or intimidate.

In Oregon, state lawmakers passed a bill that allowed victims of discriminatory 911 calls to sue the caller. This came after state Representative Janelle Bynum was questioned by police after someone called 911 on her while she was campaigning in her district.

According to the video, the woman's son then walks toward the stairs and says he is going to call the security officer for the building and his mother follows him.

"Stay away from that crazy man," the man says to his mother.

Eventually, the video ends with the mother and son walking through the staircase and Martinez explaining that the two were following him around while he was trying to do his job.

"After the encounter, I waited at the property about 40 minutes for Metro PD where I filed a police report and will be pressing charges," Martinez said in the caption. "The Karen had also called the police and conveniently left out the fact her son assaulted me."

In the comments, many users commended Martinez for standing his ground and recording the encounter. Martinez also explained in a comment that the property manager saw the video and assured him they will take "swift action."

He also said he plans on pressing formal charges with the district attorney on December 1.

Newsweek reached out to Martinez but did not receive comment in time for publication.