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Reservoir Hill residents come out in support of artist after 911 complaint

Posted at 5:41 PM, Jul 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-13 17:42:31-04

BALTIMORE — Residents in Reservoir Hill are coming out in support of visual artist Monique Dove after someone called 911 and had her removed from a street corner where she was selling her artwork.

"I can't, I can’t understand why someone would call the police on Monique," said Jessy DeSantis. "This was not an emergency."

DeSantis knows Dove personally. She also lives in the neighborhood. She told WMAR 2 News the police have more pressing matters to attend to than someone selling art out of their car and on the sidewalk.

It's unclear who called police.

DeSantis said she felt it was important to let people know what happened Friday and that it wasn't okay. She took to the neighborhood social media app Nextdoor in hopes the caller might see her message.

She wrote:

"This artist has had her work here before without a problem. Assuming this is a resident, is Reservoir Hill going to be THAT neighborhood? This is not OK and frankly, dangerous for the artist. Why do you think this is a police issue or an issue at all?"

The post started a conversation within the app. Many neighbors agreed the 911 call was inappropriate.

"Not only is this ridiculous, it's also the cowardly thing to do," wrote one neighbor. "Why does everything need to be handled with the cops??? How is art selling effecting this person's quality of life?"

"Not cool at all," wrote another neighbor. "I've seen many artists at that corner working together and creating a community. Nothing remotely criminal looking."

Since the initial complaint Dove said she's received a ton of support from people in the community.

"They're pressing me to move forward," said Dove. "That's why I'm back today. That one call isn't going to stop me."

WMAR-2 News reached out to Baltimore City Police about the original phone call.

A spokesperson said, "Officers responded to that location at approximately 6:14 p.m., for a person selling clothing out of the back of a white Crown Victoria. No report was written. This call was coded as Abated."

While Dove wasn't cited, she is looking into obtaining a vendor permit through the city. As for the 911 caller, she challenges them to have a conversation with someone before calling 911.

"Next time, come down and talk to me. See my vibe, feel the energy of what I'm selling."