White campground manager fired after pulling gun on black couple having picnic

Jessica Richardson

The white manager of a Mississippi campground has been fired after she pulled a gun on a black couple having a picnic, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Franklin and Jessica Richardson said they were confronted by a white woman who said she was the property manager shortly after they arrived near the sandy shores of Oktibbeha County Lake, a popular location near Starkville, Miss.

{mosads}“She was just like, ‘Get, get, you don’t belong here, you don’t belong here, you don’t belong here,’ ” Jessica Richardson told WCBI, adding that she pulled out her cellphone to record the interaction.

The video, posted to Facebook, has been viewed more than 523,000 times as of Wednesday morning.

“This lady literally just pulled a gun because we’re out here and didn’t have reservations, for a lake that we didn’t even know we had to have reservations for,” Jessica Richardson narrates as the woman walks closer, the gun visible in her hand. “The only thing you had to do was tell us.”

Richardson tells the women in the video that she didn’t know they needed a reservation to be on the property.

“Well, I’m just telling you, you need to leave because it’s under private ownership,” the property manager replied after tucking the gun back into the pocket of her shorts. 

The couple said they got in their car to leave and stopped by the campground’s office, where they met another property manager, who happened to be the woman’s husband.

“I get out and start talking to him,” Franklin Richardson told the local outlet. “The first thing he says is, ‘Oh, you don’t need a reservation for the lake.’ Then, she pulls up flying, hops out of the car, then proceeded to yell at my wife, ‘Get in the car, you need to get back in the car,’ just cussing her out and she’s not even saying anything.”

Kampgrounds of America, a chain that oversees hundreds of commercial campgrounds across the country, told the Post that the property manager involved in the incident has been relieved of her duties.

Spokesman Mike Gast said that the company “does not condone the use of a firearm in any manner on our properties or those owned and operated by our franchisees.”

The outlet noted that it is not immediately clear if the Richardsons were trespassing at the location where they were confronted.

Gast said that the couple had been “seeking to access a lake via the campground’s private property,” however Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors President Orlando Trainer told the Commercial Dispatch that he wasn’t sure if the area where they were picnicking would actually be considered private property.

The campground location is located on land that belongs to the local school district and the lake itself is public, the Post noted.

The couple said they were left shaken by the incident.

Franklin Richardson, a sergeant in the Army National Guard, told WCBI that he had just returned from a nine-month deployment in the Middle East.

“It’s kind of crazy,” he told the station. “You go over there and don’t have a gun pointed at you, and you come back home and the first thing that happens is you have a gun pointed at you.”

Jessica Richardson said she “felt the heat” in the woman’s eyes during the encounter. 

“You say ‘Get, get’ to a stray dog that’s on your porch,” she told the local outlet. “That ‘Get, get’ got to me more than ‘You don’t belong here.’ ”

The video is the least incident in a string of widely publicized clips.

Two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks last April for sitting in the cafe without ordering anything.

A white resident nicknamed online as “Barbecue Becky” called police on a black family who were setting up a charcoal grill in a public park.

A viral video from last summer showed a white woman dubbed “Permit Patty” calling 911 on a black girl selling bottled water in San Francisco.

Tags Kampgrounds of American KOA Mississippi

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