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The lawsuit states the incident created “a scene reminiscent of 1960s Birmingham, Alabama, when white law enforcement officers used fire hoses to douse, assault, and batter African Americans participating in civil rights demonstrations in an attempt to get them to disperse.”
The first physician to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in the United States is among a group who have filed a lawsuit after being repeatedly drenched with a water hose in what they consider a racially motivated event.
Dr. Yves Duroseau and his wife, Claude Duroseau, hosted about 15 guests in the back garden of their Forest Hills, Queens, New York home on Sept. 17, 2022, to celebrate his sister Rosevony Duroseau’s birthday, according to The Daily Beast.
The lawsuit alleges the weird turn of events started when an unidentified white woman, referred to as “Jane Doe,” showed up with a “large, menacing German Shepherd,” demanding they turn down the music playing in the backyard.
Yves Duroseau reportedly told the woman that they were celebrating a birthday and that it would soon be over, asking her to leave his property. However, the party “abruptly and forcefully ended” when white neighbor Marcus Rosebrock grabbed his backyard hose and sprayed the guests with water pressure “extremely powerful and stinging in nature,” apparently because they didn’t end the celebration quickly enough.
According to the lawsuit, Rosebrock’s actions created “a scene reminiscent of 1960s Birmingham, Alabama, when white law enforcement officers used fire hoses to douse, assault, and batter African Americans participating in civil rights demonstrations in an attempt to get them to disperse.”
Yves Duroseau and two others tried to negotiate with Rosebrock who, looked directly at them and proceeded to violently spray them with increased water pressure, “drenching them and making them fearful of serious bodily harm because they were afraid they would be knocked to the ground from the tree house.”
Yves Duroseau and his sister, a Washington-based asylum officer with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, are Haitian Americans, and all but one of the party guests were Black or Latino. Chef Vanessa Cantave, the 2011 champion of Bravo’s “Rocco’s Dinner Party,” catered the nine-course meal.
Rosebrock also allegedly sprayed the caterer’s helper as she cleaned the dinner dishes.
Mina Q. Malik and co-counsel Derek Sells of The Cochran Firm represent the Duroseaus and the guests at the dinner party. She said the incident left the party hosts, guests, and caterers “deeply scarred,” adding that they were degraded, humiliated and made to feel “less than human.”
In their lawsuit, the Duroseaus allege that Rosebrock violated their civil rights under Title 8 of the New York City Administrative Code by interfering with their “right… to enjoy the ownership of real property within the City of New York, County of Queens.” Since the incident, the couple haven’t hosted a backyard event, and have practically turned into, in Malik’s words, “prisoners in their own home.”
Rosebrock, a German national, and his attorney, Brandon Gillard, failed to respond to theGrio’s repeated requests for comment. However, Gillard told The Daily Beast that his client denies the accusations “and rejects any characterization that he is racist, or that his actions were motivated by race.”
Sells said two NYPD officers responded to the scene to take a report, but have not been in contact since then, “even though this incident should be investigated and treated as a hate crime.”
Yves and Claude Duroseau, the 15 guests, the caterer, and her sous-chef request that Rosebrock pay an undisclosed sum for the mental pain and emotional distress they claim he and Doe caused them.
“I was appalled and disgusted that water hosing and German Shepherds were being used against people of color in New York City in 2022,” said Malik, The Daily Beast reported. “I was in utter disbelief.”
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