The US Department of Justice announced Tuesday (April 26) that it was bringing federal charges against a Michigan man they said left nooses and racist notes around town in an effort to keep people from participating in Black Lives Matter marches and protests.
Kenneth Pilon, a 61-year-old retired optometrist, is accused of calling nine different Starbucks locations in June 2020 telling whoever picked up that employees wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts that "the only good n––a is a dead n––a."
According to a news release from the agency, Pilon admitted to one employee, "I'm gonna go out and lynch me a n––." The DOJ said Pilon's calls came just days after the company announced it was making 250,000 Black Lives Matter shirts available to employees who wanted to wear them on their shifts.
The agency said Pilon also left a total of four nooses in the parking lots of multiple businesses along with notes that read, "an accessory to be worn with your 'BLM' t-shirt. Happy protesting!"
According to MLive.com, one couple found a noose and note inside of their car.
Pilon is accused by the DOJ of "willfully intimidating and attempting to intimidate citizens" who participated in the protests that came weeks after the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery that same year. Pilon faces six counts related to federal hate crime charges.
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