A Kansas man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday for threatening a Black man with a knife simply because of the man’s race.
Colton Donner was driving through a residential neighborhood in Paola, Kansas, in September of 2019 when he saw the victim walking along the sidewalk. Donner got out of his car and brandished a knife toward the victim, yelled racial epithets, and told the victim that Paola is a “white town.” Donner also pleaded guilty to threatening the victim to intimidate and interfere with the man’s right to fair housing.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division called the use of racially motivated threats “deplorable” and noted that “the Justice Department stands ready to use our nation’s hate crimes laws to hold perpetrators accountable.” U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard said that it is the Justice Department’s responsibility to prosecute offenses based on a victim’s race, color, or national origin in order “to ensure the equal protection under the law.”
Donner could be sentenced to up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.