CNN reported on Saturday that two North Carolina men, including a disgraced former sheriff’s deputy, who sent an armed all-white vigilante mob to the home of a Black family, are now demanding that the family apologize for accusing them of racism.
“An African American mother says she won’t sit down to talk with two men who came armed with about 13 other White people to her North Carolina home last year looking for a missing teenage girl — and she doesn’t care that a court acquitted them,” reported Eliott McLaughlin. “Still, lawyers for the two men say they not only want the families to come together and sort out what they believe is a misunderstanding, but their clients also want an apology from Monica Shepard and her teen son, Dameon, as well as from their family’s lawyers, for comments they feel painted their clients as racists.”
“A ‘Kumbaya’ moment seems unlikely,” noted the report. “As the criminal cases against Jordan Kita and Austin Wood unfolded, the Shepards filed a civil lawsuit likening the group to Ku Klux Klan night riders and demanding, among other relief, more than $25,000 in damages, legal fees and “training concerning the history of racism and mob violence” for those who came to their home in May.”
After Kita and Wood led the vigilante mob to the property and tried to force their way in, Kita was stripped of his badge from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and the men were charged with trespassing and breaking and entering. They were later acquitted on the criminal charges.
“The attorneys acknowledge that their clients, Kita and Wood, were armed, that Kita was wearing his law enforcement uniform outside his jurisdiction and the pair were among 15 people who went to the wrong home in the middle of the night wanting to know the whereabouts of a missing girl,” said the report. “They’re also aware of the history of racially charged mob violence in the South, but the lawyers told CNN that the facts show the group’s actions were merely the product of concern for the missing girl — and the Shepards should apologize now that the details have emerged.”