Kansas man gets 2 years in prison after racially-motivated threats, calling area a ‘white town’

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A Kansas man was sentenced on Wednesday to two years and three months in federal prison after threatening a Black man with a knife because of his race in order to intimidate him and interfere with his right to fair housing, the Department of Justice said.

Colton Donner, 27, had been driving through a residential area of Paola, Kansas, on Sept. 11, 2019, when he saw the victim, a Black man, walking on a sidewalk, authorities said in a news release.

Paola is about 44 miles southwest of Kansas City.

Donner stopped, got out of the car and approached the victim, brandishing a knife, according to the release. He then threatened the victim, yelling racial slurs at him and saying Paola was a “white town,” the Justice Department said, citing court documents.

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It wasn’t clear if the man was looking for a home at the time of the incident.

The incident was investigated by the Paola Police Department and the Kansas City Field Office of the FBI.

Donner was sentenced on Wednesday to 27 months in federal prison and 18 months of supervised release.

“Racially-motivated threats and violence have no place in our society today,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said in a statement.

“This sentence should send a strong message to perpetrators of violent hate-fueled acts that they will be held accountable for their crimes,” Clarke said. “Everyone deserves to feel safe and secure living in their communities, without being subject to racially-motivated crimes seeking to drive them from their homes or neighborhoods.”

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U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard for the District of Kansas said: “All Americans have the freedom to decide where they want to live, and to do so without fear of being threatened because of their race.”

“Hopefully this prison sentence will deter those who would commit acts of racial discrimination and violence by illustrating the Justice Department’s steadfast resolve to prosecute these crimes,” Slinkard said.

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