A racist white man who rented property to a Black family with children has been given a relatively light prison sentence after he pleaded guilty and openly admitted to being motivated by his racism for discriminating against and “threatening to kill” the tenants in North Carolina. The “justice” was far from swift.
Douglas Matthew Gurkins was sentenced nearly six years after he drove to the Black family’s home in Greenville and threatened them with bodily harm while “yelling racial slurs” because he said they did not “belong” there.
— Busted NC Mugshots (@NMugshots) August 6, 2018
Gurkins, 34, “told the family that they did not belong in their home and then threatened to shoot the family, to include four minor children, and any other African American that came onto the property” according to an FBI press release that references the fateful encounter in December 2014. “After making this threat, the defendant brandished a metal rod in a threatening manner.”
In August, Gurkins, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal interference with the Fair Housing Act. He was sentenced on Monday to just 28 months in federal prison, a fraction of the maximum penalty he was facing of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, there was no mention in the press release of Gurkins being fined.
“Part of what makes the United States free is the guarantee that we can live anywhere in this country without regard to the color of our skin and without murderous threats directed at us and our children,” Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Eric Dreiband said in a statement. “This defendant terrorized an entire family by threatening to kill African American parents and their four children and others because of their race. This kind of cruel terror has no place in the United States of America, and the U.S. Department of Justice will remain vigilant in prosecuting anyone who interferes with any families’ housing rights.”
If Gurkins’ sentence was any indication, he will likely be eligible for a probationary release earlier than scheduled.
While the sentence was not close to the maximum he could have gotten, it could also be seen as a miracle, what withHousing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson having been accused of “further weakening enforcement of fair housing laws.”
The Charlotte Observer reported that even though Gurkins was previously “charged with communicating threats on four different occasions in Pitt and Beaufort counties between 2014 and 2017” and “charged in 2017 with stalking and trespassing,” he never served any prison time for those misdemeanors.
Considering that type of established history of racism and violence, it was unclear why Gurkins’ sentence was not closer to the maximum 10 years. And by “unclear,” we mean it’s probably because he is white.
This is America.
Here Are All The Black People In Joe Biden's Cabinet And His Most Senior Advisers
1. Adewale Adeyemo, Deputy Treasury SecretarySource:Twitter 1 of 19
2. Gen. Lloyd Austin, Department of DefenseSource:Getty 2 of 19
3. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, vice chair of the Democratic National CommitteeSource:Getty 3 of 19
4. Kirsten Clarke, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights DivisionSource:Getty 4 of 19
5. Ashley Etienne, Kamala Harris’ Chief Communications Director
5 of 19
Ashley Etienne is the Communications Director for MVP Kamala Harris. She’s not new to the game. Etienne was the communications director for the House Oversight Committee under the late Elijah Cummings. Biden-Harris administration has chosen the best!👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/FLVgWZCdUn— silverprincess💛 (@marsha_vivinate) November 30, 2020
6. Tina Flournoy, Vice President's Chief Of Staff6 of 19
7. Rep. Marcia Fudge, Housing and Urban DevelopmentSource:Getty 7 of 19
8. Joelle Gamble, National Economic CouncilSource:Courtesy of Biden-Harris Transition Team 8 of 19
9. Shuwanza Goff, Deputy Director Of The White House Office Of Legislative AffairsSource:Joe Biden Communications Coalitions 9 of 19
10. Jamie Harrison, DNC ChairSource:Getty 10 of 19
11. Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Deputy Press SecretarySource:Getty 11 of 19
12. Brenda Mallory, Council on Environmental Quality ChairpersonSource:Getty 12 of 19
13. Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, Co-Chair of Biden's Coronavirus Task Force
13 of 19
Finally, some science.— NewsOne (@newsone) November 16, 2020
Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a doctor and college professor promoting health and healthcare equity for structurally marginalized populations, will co-chair Joe Biden's Covid task force.https://t.co/cUHso6sruX
14. Michael Regan, EPA
14 of 19
Biden picks Michael Regan, top North Carolina environmental official, to run EPA https://t.co/JJzYjFdevB— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 17, 2020
15. Susan Rice, White House Domestic Policy Council DirectorSource:Getty 15 of 19
16. Cedric RichmondSource:Getty 16 of 19
17. Cecilia Rouse, Council of Economic Advisors chairpersonSource:Getty 17 of 19
18. Symone Sanders, Vice President's spokesperson
18 of 19
All of the reporting I've seen has indicated @SymoneDSanders is the frontrunner for Press Secretary so I'm expecting her to be picked. But let me add to the chorus to say she is the CREDENTIALS pick in addition to being historic. #BlackWomenLead https://t.co/cvFGjq1xLB pic.twitter.com/4Qd5D14pVR— BlackWomenViews Media (@blackwomenviews) November 14, 2020
19. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, UN AmbassadorSource:Getty 19 of 19
Racist Landlord Gets Fraction Of Max Prison Time For ‘Threatening To Kill’ Black Family Tenants was originally published on newsone.com