A trio of Aussies is charged with murdering an Airbnb guest who booked a room in their Melbourne home.
Ramis Jonuzi was allegedly raped and murdered last Wednesday while staying at the $30-a-night East Brighton home, according to the Guardian.
Craig Levy, 36, Ryan Smart, 37, and Jason Colton, 41, were each charged with murder. Colton also faces charges of using an object to rape the 36-year-old victim, according to The Age newspaper.
Jonuzi had only met the three men a week before he died. He planned on staying at the home while working through personal issues but wanted to cut his stay short because he didn’t like the “energy,” he told a friend.
His cause of death has not been determined, but paramedics said he suffered from cardiac arrest.
A spokesman for Airbnb called Jonuzi’s death an “abhorrent act.”
“We have removed this listing from our platform and will fully cooperate with law enforcement on their investigation,” he said.
Sibahle Nkumbi is a #South African filmmaker and visual artist who is currently studying in Bern, Switzerland. She booked an #AirBnB property for herself and three artist friends in #Amsterdam in the Netherlands, while she was attending and reviewing her friend Zanele Muholi’s art exhibition. When the four ladies were a little late in checking out last Saturday, the owner called her husband, who became verbally abusive towards the women and eventually pushed Nkumbi down the stairs, causing a concussion and several bruises. The unnamed 47-year-old Dutch host is now facing a possible attempted manslaughter charge for his actions.
Sibhahle Nkumbi speaks about the altercation with the Airbnb host
Muholi filmed the incident, which is included in a video interview uploaded to YouTube on Monday, July 9.
In the video Nkumbi talks about the incident, saying she had apologized profusely to the owner’s wife for being an hour late checking out of the property. As they were talking, the Airbnb host arrived and started banging on the door, yelling for them to let him in.
During the interview, Nkumbi explained that the host was verbally abusive to her, even though she said she didn’t provoke him in any way. Nkumbi said she was trying to reason with the man, but he continued to be abusive. She went on to say that the Airbnb host made racially motivated statements, including referring to the ladies as “you people” and telling them they needed to leave now, telling her she is not the great artist she thinks she is and that this was “not Africa.”
As Nkumbi tried to leave the property, the host grabbed her and she said she immediately knew he was going to throw her down the stairs.
As she only had the wall to hang on to, she fell, tumbling down the staircase. The fall knocked her out and when she came to, she was in the hospital.
Amsterdam Police considering attempted manslaughter charge
As reported by the Huffington Post, Nkumbi was then interviewed by Amsterdam police, who said in a media statement that the four women were supposed to check out of the apartment at 11 a.m., but got into an argument with the owners at around 12:30 p.m. Marijke Stor, the police spokesperson, said they had arrested a 47-year-old man, who is suspected of attempted manslaughter. The Airbnb host was released on Sunday and the prosecutor will now decide whether to pursue the case in court.
“https://t.co/h7TEjnGveB”https://t.co/PAH5oVSgtUDutch Airbnb host throws guest down stairs in video#health #fitness
— lisa george (@lisa14791) July 14, 2017
Airbnb speaks out about the ‘appalling’ incident
The Independent Online quotes David King, the company’s Director of Diversity and Belonging, as saying the host’s behavior was “appalling” and against everything Airbnb stands for.
King said he and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky were reaching out to Nkumbi and her friends and will take the strongest actions possible against the “abhorrent conduct” of the Dutch host, including banning them from their platform. He added that no one should ever be treated this way and that Airbnb will not tolerate such behavior.
An Airbnb host who canceled a woman’s reservation because of her race has agreed to pay $5,000 in damages and take a course in Asian American studies, a state regulatory agency announced Thursday.
The host, Tami Barker, told the woman who reserved her Big Bear cabin for a ski vacation in February that she would not rent to an Asian, justifying the action by adding in a text message, “It’s why we have Trump,” referring to President Trump.
The woman, Dyne Suh, a UCLA law student, said she was driving in a snowstorm to the Big Bear cabin when she received the text messages via the Airbnb mobile app. A tearful Suh, standing in the snow, shot a video posted on YouTube, describing her exchange with Barker.
“I’ve been here since I was 3 years old,” she said in the video. “America is my home. I consider myself an American. But this woman discriminates against me because I’m Asian.”
In the video, Suh shows screen shots of the exchange, including a message from Barker saying, “It’s is why we have Trump” and, “I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners.”
Under an agreement reached after an investigation by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Barker agreed to pay Suh $5,000 in damages, issue her an apology and attend a college-level course on Asian American studies, among other penalties.
The minimum penalty under California’s civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination in places of public accommodation is $4,000 for each offense, the agency said.
An attorney representing Barker, Edward Lee, released the following statement on her behalf:
“While regretful for her impetuous actions and comments made on the evening of Feb. 17, 2017, Miss Barker is pleased to have resolved her claims with Miss Dyne Suh and the DFEH in a manner that can hopefully bring a positive outcome out of an unfortunate incident.”
The incident represents the first time the agency levied a financial penalty against an Airbnb host for discrimination, but it wasn’t the first time the agency has investigated Airbnb.
Kevin Kish, the director of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, said the monetary damages imposed in the case are typical of the penalties the agency has imposed for violations in the past involving hotel rooms, apartments and condo rentals.
He said he hopes the Barker case sends the message that discrimination won’t be tolerated among shared economy hosts just as it is not in traditional businesses.
“We know that this happens and the message is it should not,” Kish said.
The agreement comes three months after Airbnb and the state agency agreed to cooperate on fair housing tests to uncover discrimination among Airbnb hosts. The tests involved the use of state regulators posing as Airbnb guests who will try to make reservations to see if the hosts comply with fair housing laws.
In April, Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas said that Barker’s behavior was “abhorrent and unacceptable.” Barker was banned from Airbnb after the incident became public.
Airbnb has been dogged by accusations that hosts on the home-sharing platform have discriminated against guests based on their race.
If you see an Airbnb listing for a New York City apartment with rooftop views, be warned that you may be paying hundreds of dollars a night to stay in an illegally constructed shack underneath a bridge.
According to the New York Daily News, the landlord of an industrial building in Brooklyn was caught renting out poorly constructed, unlawful rooftop rooms to tourists through Airbnb.
When inspectors showed up to Brooklyn’s DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) neighborhood to investigate these high-price hovels, they found three of the five rooftop units occupied by paying customers.
One of them was actually asleep when city officials barged in and snapped this photo:
The building’s certificate of occupancy calls for manufacturing on the first and second floor.
“With illegal construction, including dangerous and unpermitted gas and electrical hookups, the property owner and an Airbnb host showed an astonishing disregard for the safety of visitors to the city,” Christian Klossner, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, said. “These rooms, on the roof of a manufacturing building in Dumbo, offer one more example of how dangerous illegal rentals can be.”
Listings for the rooms — which have since been removed from Airbnb — promised “amazing views” and “rooftop access.” Each rental had one or two beds, bathrooms, TVs, microwaves, and small sitting areas.
What those rooms didn’t have, according to the mayor’s office, was required exits, fire alarms, and authorized gas lines.
Airnb won’t be held liable for the law-breaking listing, however, after the company settled a lawsuit with the state of New York last year that said any penalties for illegal rentals would only apply to individual hosts.
This ski trip went downhill and took a racist turn fast. Airbnb says it has permanently banned a host from the platform after she canceled a guest’s reservation minutes before her arrival because the guest was Asian. And we know that was the host’s reason, because she said so.
“One word says it all,” the host wrote in a text message to the would-be guest. “Asian.”
“The four of us made a reservation on Airbnb about a month ago,” the denied guest says in the video as snow falls around her, “and I asked the woman who is the host if two more friends would be OK … she said that’s fine, we just have to pay more money.
I wouldn’t rent to u if u were the last person on earth.
“So we’re driving up, we think everything is fine, we’re ready for this ski trip in Big Bear … there were flash flood warnings all day, [and] I asked the woman again, is it OK if my two friends come, like, should we give you cash, or how much did you say it was again?
“And she says, ‘Absolutely not…. You must be high if you think that that would be OK in the busiest weekend in Big Bear.’ Then she said, ‘No, we’re done,’ and she canceled the trip.”
Taken aback, the guest responded by informing the woman her actions would be reported to Airbnb, to which she replied in a text: “Go ahead. I wouldn’t rent to u if u were the last person on earth.” Then she texted, “One word says it all. Asian.”
One word says it all. Asian.
In additional screenshots of the conversation, provided by the guest as proof, the host wrote, “And I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners. It’s why we have trump.”
In the video, the distraught guest says she’s an American citizen. Not that that mattered to the host, who apparently deemed her a foreigner based only on her profile picture.
“What they see is that I’m Asian. What they see is my race,” she said, sobbing, “and this is how we get treated. It stings.”
In a statement to The Huffington Post, Airbnb spokesman Christopher Nulty called the host’s behavior “abhorrent and unacceptable.” Nulty added the company reached out to the guest as soon as it learned of the incident and offered to rebook her somewhere else, but she’d already made other plans.