After being accused of terrorizing his neighbors in an attempt to intimidate them out of supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, a Michigan man has officially been charged with hate crimes reports the Justice Department.
As of Wednesday (April 27), Kenneth Pilon was charged with six counts of interfering with federally protected activities which include protests that were sparked across the nation after the death of George Floyd.
In June and July 2020 the 61-year-old white man reportedly frequented several establishments across the Saginaw community leaving behind nooses with a disturbing note attached.
“An accessory to be worn with your ‘BLM’ t-shirt. Happy Protesting! read the message inside of the letter. The notes were left in a Goodwill parking lot, the inside of 7-Eleven beverage cooler, and a Walmart parking lot. One particular noose was left in the vehicle of a neighbor.
Regina Simon believes that she and her then-husband, Donald Simon were targeted after Pilon witnessed her in the lawn of her home sporting a Black Lives Matter t-shirt designed for her by her son.
A day later, the disturbing note was left in Donald’s truck alongside a noose.
“When he got in the truck, he noticed in the side of the door was this noose with a note attached to it,” said Regina. “At first I’m thinking it’s a joke, somebody trying to be funny, but then I’m like this isn’t funny.
Donald, a Black man, said that the incident made him feel “violated.”
“I can’t understand that this racism is still alive,” he expressed.
After posting a photo of the note to her Facebook page, Regina was contacted by the NAACP and an investigation with the FBI began.
According to the feds, they believe that Pilon was on a mission to scare and taunt people out of “participating lawfully in speech and peaceful assembly opposing the denial of Black people’s right to enjoy police protection and services free from brutality.”