Mich. man sentenced to prison for vandalizing, shooting at Black neighbor’s home
Michael Frederick Jr. got a four-to-10 year prison sentence for the Sept. 2020 incidents, all over a BLM sign.
A white Michigan man has been sentenced to four to 10 years in prison after being convicted of harassing a Black family because he didn’t like the Black Lives Matter sign they had in their window.
The incident occurred in Warren, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Michael Frederick Jr. admitted to harassing Eddie and Candace Hall in September 2020. He pleaded no contest to ethnic intimidation, discharging a firearm at a building, using a firearm during a felony and malicious destruction of property.
At his sentencing in Macomb County Circuit Court, Frederick told the judge that his attack of the Black family wasn’t personal.
“I targeted these people because I didn’t like their political sign that they had in the window,” he said, according to ABC News. “I think you guys are some great people and didn’t deserve this at all.”
The harassment occurred over several days in September, when shots were fired at the Halls’ home in Warren. Two days later, a swastika was painted on one of their vehicles. Tires were slashed on their cars, and a large rock was thrown through their window.
Additionally, Frederick wrote “terrorist Black Lives Matter” and “ni–ers not welcome” on their pickup truck.
He also pleaded no contest to malicious destruction of property because he vandalized the home of a white neighbor, who had a sign supporting Joe Biden for president in his yard.
The incident happened just months after the police murder of George Floyd by former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin. His death sparked a summer of protests around the nation.
Despite being terrorized, Candace Hall offered forgiveness to the 25-year-old Frederick. She said at his sentencing, “I’m not angry, I’m not. I’m forgiving.”
“You’re a good kid and have a chance,” she added. “You made a bad choice, and we understand that. We have children ourselves. We’re not hateful people, we’re Christians.”
“With so much of the bad that happened, so much good came out of this,” said Hall, “because even though it was an evil, hateful act, it actually brought us — the neighborhood — together with love and comfort and compassion, even including his parents.”
The presiding judge, Diane Druzinski, said she was “in awe” of the Halls and their “strength, wisdom and forgiveness.”
“I wish I was as good as people as you,” she added before sentencing Frederick to potentially spend the next decade of his life behind bars.