Michigan man won’t face charges for hanging KKK flag facing home of Black neighbors
A Michigan man will not face ethnic intimidation charges for reportedly hanging up a Ku Klux Klan flag in a window that faces the home of Black neighbors and putting a full gas can in their garbage.
The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office announced on Tuesday that there is insufficient evidence to charge the unidentified Grosse Pointe Park man with ethnic intimidation or any other criminal complaint.
Under the Michigan Ethnic Intimidation Statue, there must be physical contact, damage, destruction, defacement of property or threats in order to pursue charges.
“There is absolutely no question that what happened to Ms. Dinges was despicable, traumatizing, and completely unacceptable. But, very unfortunately in my view, not a crime,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who is Black, said in a statement.
She added that she strongly encourages the Michigan Legislature to “look, revise, and create laws to protect citizens from this kind of horrible conduct.”
Je Donna Dinges, 57, first reported her neighbor on Feb. 16 after he hung a KKK flag in a window that is clearly visible to her family in their dining room.
“I was furious. How dare he feel comfortable putting a symbol of hatred, violence and domestic terrorism at his window facing my house?” Dinges, who owns a clothing boutique, told The Detroit Free Press.
She had installed a security camera the month prior after she had found a full gas can inside her garbage container.
According to prosecutors, the KKK flag was displayed across from the security camera.
Dinges and her friends started a campaign to spread awareness through the media because she felt ignored by community officials.
“I said, ‘I’m not calling the police,’ He said ‘Why?’ and I said, ‘Because they’re not going to do anything,’ ” Dinges said, recalling a conversation she had with a friend who had encouraged her to report the incident. “If they didn’t do anything when someone put gas next to my house — gas is more serious than a Klan flag — they’re not going to do anything about that either.”
The neighbor eventually took the flag down after detectives visited him. Dinges said he hasn’t bothered the family or done anything else.