Another day, another piece of evidence that policing in America is about maintaining this country’s foundation of white supremacy, rather than protecting and serving black citizens.
A pastor from Virginia has gotten a belated apology from the Shenandoah County Sherriff’s office after he publicly revealed that when a mob of white people attacked him on his property earlier this month and he called police for help, local law enforcement officers arrested him.
From NBC News:
Pastor Leon McCray was at his home on June 1 when he saw two people trying to dump a refrigerator on his property, he recounted during a church service Sunday. When McCray told them to stop, one person proceeded to verbally attack him and the other one went to get three other people.
McCray said that all five people started attacking him verbally and physically. They were “threatening to kill me... telling me that my Black life didn’t matter,” he said. That’s when he felt the need to pull his concealed firearm to save his life, he said. The group of people then left and McCray proceeded to call 9-1-1 for help.
But when the officers arrived they made a beeline for the five white people who trespassed on the black pastor’s property and took their story without giving him an opportunity to speak, McCray said in a sermon to his congregation.
Then an officer who had known him from the community for 20 years handcuffed him in front of the people who assaulted him on his property and charged him with brandishing a weapon, the pastor said, adding that his assailants were waving at him as he was taken away in a cop car.
“Think about how disturbing that is,” the pastor and U.S. Air Force veteran said, of calling 911 for help and then being arrested himself after threatened with being killed. “This was indeed the most humiliating, dehumanizing, demeaning, and violating event of my life.”
Shenondah County has since had a change of heart after initially confirming the truth of mob’s words by arresting the black man who they attacked. On Sunday, County Sheriff Timothy Carter revealed that the charge against Pastor McCray has been dropped, and his five assailants have been arrested and charged.
“As I told Mr. McCray, if I were faced with similar circumstances, I would have probably done the same thing,” the Sheriff said in a statement. “I have apologized to Mr. McCray, and I appreciate his patience as I have worked through these matters.”
Donny Salyers, 43, Dennis Salyers, 26, Farrah Salyers, 42, Christopher Sharp, 57, and Amanda Salyers, 26, are now facing charges for hate crimes and various degrees of assault. Both Donny and Dennis Salyers are also charged with assault and battery. Sharp and Amanda Salyers are also charged with trespassing.
The five are being held without bond, the sheriff’s office revealed. Meanwhile, the officers involved in the arrest of the pastor who was assaulted have been placed on unpaid administrative leave.
“Thank you for your patience, because with today’s social media, there seems to be a sense of immediacy,” Sheriff Carter outrageously ended his statement on Facebook, given that it was social media which helped forced authorities in Shenandoah County to do right by a member of the community.