Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced his office filed a hate crime complaint against a mother and son accused of harassing their Black neighbor, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The harassment in question was the hanging of a black-faced mannequin by a noose in their yard. The two could face fines of $25,000 for their offenses. This wasn’t the only offense either.
Cheryl Hampton, 67, made it known that she didn’t want no Black folks living next to her. According to the Chicago Sun-Times , Gregory Johnson, had just moved to Savanna, Illinois from Chicago to spend his retirement. Unfortunately, his time wasn’t so peaceful. Cheryl’s son Chad, 47, painted swastikas on their house to face Johnson’s home, hoisted a Confederate flag in front their front yard and sprayed weedkiller on the grass near Johnson’s fence.
More on the case from the Sun-Times:
When police arrived, Cheryl Hampton told them the dummy was a Halloween decoration. She refused to move it to the other side of the property or to paint it another color. When an officer returned the next day, he noticed a Confederate flag hanging in one of the Hamptons’ windows that faced Johnson’s house, with the N-word written on the pane in large black letters.
Charges against Chad Hampton for allegedly damaging Johnson’s lawn are pending, as is a felony count against Cheryl Hampton for witness intimidation after refusing to take down the dummy. Police removed it as evidence, prompting the Hamptons to file a complaint for damaging their property.
Savanna Police Chief Jeff Doran told The Chicago Sun-Times he was relieved to see the attorney general take charge against the Hamptons by filing the suit.
“We were there every time they did something to [Johnson], they would call us and [officers] would take pictures of it all, the swastikas, the Confederate flag. It just kept escalating,” said Doran.
The Carroll County Circuit Court marked the lawsuit as the first time the attorney general utilized provisions from the state’s hate crime laws which allowed civil suits to be filed against people who commit hate crimes.