Multnomah County, OR — After threatening to “blow the head off” of an unarmed African American teen, Michael James Black from Oregon, who is white, has only been ordered to write an apology to the teen. He will not spend time in jail, but instead will just undergo three years of probation and 150 hours of community service, anger management and diversity training.
The case stemmed from an incident in May 2018 when Black was sitting alone in a lawn chair in his garage and he saw a 14-year old Black teen, who was unnamed, riding a bicycle about 50 feet away from his home.
The teen then reportedly pulled into the cul-de-sac and drove around with his bike. Black told him that he was on private property and began shouting racial slurs.
When the teen continued biking, Black yelled out, “I’ll blow your head off” before going inside his home. The teen then rushed home as he thought the man was going to get a gun.
Meanwhile, the teen told the police that he thought that the cul-de-sac where he pulled into was public and he was just there to wait for his friends after basketball practice. There were two “no-trespassing” signs in the cul-de-sac but were “not visible from the street,” according to the police who responded.
Deputy District Attorney BJ Park claimed that Black threatened to shoot the teen and his friends “simply because they walked by his house and he didn’t like that and because of the victim’s race.”
Black was recently found guilty of menacing and second-degree intimidation, which is considered to be a hate crime. However, he was only ordered to write an apology to the teen and complete 150 hours of community service. He is also prohibited from possessing weapons.