Racist Attack: 73-Year-Old Man Charged After Shooting Incident Involving Black Neighbor

by Gee NY

A white resident, identified as Mark Wheeler, has been arrested and indicted on charges of making racially motivated threats and firing a weapon at his Black neighbor.

The disturbing incident in Loganville, Georgia, highlights the persistence of racial tensions in diverse communities across the United States.

According to the Atlanta Black Star, the Department of Justice has alleged that Wheeler violated the man’s rights due to his race, a violation of the criminal provision of the Fair Housing Act.

On May 26, Wheeler, a 73-year-old Loganville resident, allegedly fired a .22 caliber firearm at his neighbor and the neighbor’s house while shouting racial slurs in an attempt to intimidate or frighten him.

Court documents suggest that Wheeler expressed a desire for the victim to move out of the community.

The suburban Atlanta city of Loganville, located in Gwinnett County, has a population that is 56.4 percent white and 32 percent Black, according to the latest census data.

According to information published on the website of the DOJ, a grand jury has charged Wheeler with one count of interfering with housing by presenting a threat with a dangerous weapon and a second count of possessing a firearm in connection with a criminal act of violence. These charges carry significant penalties under federal law.

If convicted, Wheeler could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, along with a potential fine of $250,000 for both the civil rights and firearm-related charges.

The FBI Atlanta Field Office has taken up the case and will present evidence to prosecutors for use in federal court.

While federal agencies have intervened in this instance of racially motivated intimidation, many such perpetrators continue to go unchecked. In a similar incident in a neighboring town, a white man verbally harassed a Black motorist in a racist tirade. Despite being filmed, justice has yet to be served in that case.

The victim in Wheeler’s case, identified in the indictment as M.H., may see justice through a trial or a potential plea deal with the prosecution.

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