On her 47th birthday last year, Rosevony Duroseau was surprised with a small party hosted by her brother and sister-in-law to celebrate the occasion.
On a pleasant Saturday evening in September 2022, Dr. Yves Duroseau, the head of Manhattan’s Lenox Hill Hospital’s Emergency Medicine Department, and his designer wife, Claude, welcomed around 15 guests to their lovely Forest Hills home. The couple hosted a delightful nine-course dinner in their beautiful backyard garden, which was the perfect setting for the occasion. The guests were in high spirits, and the engagement of Rosevony, one of the attendees, added to the overall joyous atmosphere of the evening.
In 2020, Yves became the first physician in the U.S. to receive the COVID vaccine. He was among the guests at a gathering that included Rosevony, a Haitian-American USCIS asylum officer based out of Washington, D.C. The majority of the guests were Black or Latino, including some of Rosevony’s friends from Fordham Law School. Other attendees included attorneys from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, a New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration representative, two bank executives, a New Jersey public schools administrator, and at least one public defender. Rigo Morales, a high-powered music industry player who co-founded the Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective, also attended the event along with Rosevony’s fiancé, who is the co-founder and CEO of a cybersecurity risk management consultancy. The meal was catered by chef Vanessa Cantave, who won the 2011 Bravo cooking competition show Rocco’s Dinner Party.
Towards the end of the event, an unknown Caucasian woman arrived with her intimidating German Shepherd and demanded that the music being played in the backyard be lowered. This surprising incident was mentioned in a civil lawsuit obtained by The Daily Beast.
At the party, Dr Yves Duroseau was the gracious host, who had the honour of being the first physician in the United States to receive the COVID vaccine.
According to the complaint, the partygoers were forcefully dispersed by a white neighbour who grabbed his backyard hose and started hosing them down. This action was reminiscent of the violent scenes from the 1960s in Birmingham, Alabama, where white law enforcement officers used fire hoses to assault and batter African Americans participating in civil rights demonstrations. The plaintiffs allege that this was an attempt to silence them and end their celebration, which had already been disrupted enough.
According to court documents, the individual responsible for the incident was Marcus Rosebrock, a married father of two who lived nearby. Rosebrock allegedly directed his hose at the guests repeatedly, steadily increasing the water pressure until they were completely soaked and left feeling embarrassed.
According to The Daily Beast, Mina Q. Malik and co-counsel Derek Sells represent Duroseaus and the other attendees of the controversial dinner party. Malik shared that she coincidentally was in Alabama when the case was brought to her attention.
Malik, who ran for Queens District Attorney in 2019, expressed his intense dismay and disgust at using water hoses and German Shepherds against people of colour in New York City in 2022. He was appalled and found it hard to believe such brutal tactics were still employed.
At the 2022 Grammy Awards, a snapshot captured the renowned singer John Legend and his dinner party guest Rigo Morales. The two gentlemen looked dapper and relaxed as they posed for the camera.
Malik stated that the party attendees are still reeling from the traumatic experience and are left with deep emotional scars. He further explained that not only the hosts but also the guests and caterers were subjected to degradation and humiliation, causing them to feel like they were stripped of their humanity.
The suit filed by the Duroseaus alleges that Rosebrock violated their civil rights under Title 8 of the New York City Administrative Code. The lawsuit claims that Rosebrock interfered with their right to enjoy the ownership of real property within the City of New York, County of Queens. The incident has impacted the couple, who have not held a backyard event since then. They feel like prisoners in their own homes, as stated by Malik.
Yves and Claude Duroseau, along with 15 other guests, the caterer, and her sous chef, have filed a complaint against Rosebrock and an unidentified woman called “Jane Doe.” They seek monetary compensation for the emotional distress and mental anguish they claim to have suffered due to their actions. The amount of damages has yet to be determined.
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs could not use their property for a peaceful gathering. They were left feeling humiliated, fearful, embarrassed, and degraded due to the assaultive conduct, battery, and civil rights violations they experienced. Seeking justice for these violations, the plaintiffs are determined to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
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