Two arrests have been made in the case of a Valley Stream mother and nurse who took to social media to report that she was being harassed and targeted racially by her neighbors for over three years.
Over a month ago, Jennifer McLeggan, 39, created an Instagram account and documented harassment from her neighbors on camera and through pictures. The allegations include putting feces and dead animals on her property, pointing guns at her house, shooting signs and surrounding homes with BB guns and wearing blackface. On a sign she posted in her doorway, she also stated, “My neighbors have been racially harassing me since I purchased my home… They have said that I can be erased … I live in FEAR in my home.” McLeggan said they have also intimidated other Black residents in the area.
According to a spokesman from the Nassau County District Attorney, a white couple, John McEneaney, 57, and Mindy Canarick, 53, were arrested. McEneaney is being charged with harassment and criminal mischief and Canarick is being charged with criminal tampering. The couple lived in the house next door along with McEneaney’s father, Michael McEneaney, 82.
The arrests come after a long campaign from the community in support of McLeggan. Frustrated with the police’s lack of response to her concerns, McLeggan created the Instagram account, @teamstandwith, formerly known as @standwithjennifer. The page grew quickly and has amassed over 40,000 followers and a major protest followed. Community members also stopped by McLeggan’s home to offer their support and watch the house overnight.
The Daily News reported that McLeggan has already beat McEneaney in court once. Valley Stream authorities gave McLeggan tickets for the dog feces on her lawn despite her not owning a dog. In claims court, McEneaney was ordered to pay $5,000, which would reimburse McLeggan for repeatedly having to pay contractors to remove the dog poop.
McEneaney told Newsday that the allegation that he said McLeggan could be “erased” was “absolutely absurd and untrue.”
“My family has lived in Valley Stream since 1964 and we’ve never had a problem with anyone. I wish her and her child well,” said McEneaney to Newsday. He also said that he fears for his safety, as he is receiving “a lot of death threats” on social media. He also addressed the blackface allegation, he said the only black he’s worn on his face has been a ski mask to shovel snow.
The Daily News also reported that Pat Ryder, the Nassau County Police Commissioner, said on July 14 that there was no evidence of racial bias, but they will continue to look into the issue.