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Michigan man charged with leaving nooses, racist notes to stem Black Lives Matter protests

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The Justice Department on Tuesday announced that a Michigan man was charged in a federal district court with “willfully intimidating and attempting to intimidate citizens” participating in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Kenneth Pilon faces six counts related to federal hate crimes, according to the Justice Department.

In June 2020, Pilon, a retired optometrist, allegedly called nine Michigan Starbucks locations saying to tell the employees in Black Lives Matter T-shirts that “the only good n—– is a dead n—–.”

“I’m gonna go out and lynch me a n—–,” the 61-year-old told one Starbucks worker, the Justice Department noted in its release. 

His calls came just a few days after Starbucks had announced that it would make 250,000 shirts available to employees to wear on there shifts amid a nationwide racial reckoning in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.  

Pilon also allegedly left four nooses in parking lots and one in a 7-Eleven store, each of which had a note saying it was an “accessory to be worn with your ‘BLM’ t-shirt. Happy protesting!”

A report from MLive, a local Michigan news outlet, said that a mixed-race Saginaw couple found one of the nooses and racist note in their truck.

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