Sunday, April 22, 2012

Interracial Couple Held At Gunpoint By Alert Neighbors And Arrested By Cops After Taking Possession Of Foreclosed Home In Newton County, Georgia

An interracial couple who had just purchased a foreclosed home in Newton County, Georgia and who were taking possession of it for the first time was confronted by armed neighbors and temporarily arrested by local sheriff's deputies on suspicion of loitering and prowling. The dispute was cleared up the following day. I first noticed the story at the Daily Mail, which links to local stories in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB Channel 2.

Jean Kalonji (a Congolese native who is Black) and his wife Angelica (who is White) had arrived during the evening hours at the foreclosed home their son had just purchased; the entire family is intending to move in. The Kalonjis were preparing to change the locks on the home. Suddenly, they were confronted by a neighbor and his son, who were armed and wielding a spotlight. The neighbor ordered the Kalonjis to get out of the house and put their hands up, or they would get shot. The Kalonjis complied, and the neighbor contacted the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

When sheriff's deputies arrived, they eventually arrested the Kalonjis for loitering and prowling because the Kalonjis didn't have the closing paperwork with them. With the help of the real estate agent, the dispute was cleared up the following day and the couple was released without further repercussions. The Newton County Sheriff's Office says they are investigating the incident, while the neighbor who triggered the incident didn't want to talk to the media. Newton County is about 25 miles east of Atlanta on I-20 and is predominantly rural; according to City-Data, it's 60 percent White and 33 percent Black.

At this point, the race of the neighbors has not been reported. If the neighbors are White, it's possible that the mere sight of people traipsing around a foreclosed or unoccupied home after dark may have triggered protective instincts. Perhaps the neighborhood has had problems with people trespassing on foreclosed properties, and the neighbors were taking precautions; sounds like the type of neighbors I would like to have. In fact, as recently as September 2011, a group of teens broke into a Newton County home while the owner was out of town and threw a party. It's also possible that when the neighbor saw a black man with a white woman, it may have triggered healthy racial instincts. Many Southern whites (and even some blacks) remain understandably leery of interracial marriage even to this day; an April 2011 poll of Mississippi Republicans showed 46 percent want interracial marriage banned. Unlike white Yankees who find it easy to pull up stakes and move away from diversity once it gets too burdensome, but who still rhapsodize about diversity, Southern whites have had to learn to live with blacks. Consequently, both sides have reached an understanding of the other side's limits. You won't hear so many Southern whites rhapsodizing about diversity.


Anonymous said...

Uh, hello, a neighbor's delusional and paranoid suspicion is not a 'justification' for coming into YOUR house, threatening to murder you, then having you arrested. That's kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, false arrest, and false imprisonment. I don't have a legal duty to show you paperwork that proves I own my house. You have a legal requirement to prove otherwise if you doubt it. You wrote that's the kind of neighbors you would like to have... then I hope you get 100 such neighbors! Wouldn't we all love to have neighbors who come into our houses and threaten to kill us if we don't leave our own houses. Ooops, we didn't know you just bought the place ... as if that somehow makes it all better ... as if I have some legal duty to carry closing paperwork and show it to my nosy neighbors .... the thugs didn't have any proof that they HADN'T bought the place. Wouldn't we all just love neighbors who stick a gun in our spouses' faces and run them out of their new home? And don't we love having racialists who speculate about people's motives to justify what is a criminal act regardless of the races involved?

dw hickman said...