Kansas Man Sentenced In Hate Crime Targeting Black Man

Colton Donner, 27, was driving through a residential area of Paola, Kansas, when he saw the victim, a Black man, walking on the
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Photo: Chase County Sheriff's Office\Miami County Kansas Jail

A Kansas man was sentenced Wednesday to 27 months in federal prison and 18 months of supervised release for threatening a Black man with a knife because of the man’s race, in order to intimidate and interfere with the man’s right to fair housing.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard for the District of Kansas and Special Agent in Charge Charles Dayoub for the FBI Kansas City Field Office made the announcement.

According to the court documents, on Sept. 11, 2019, Colton Donner, 27, was driving through a residential area of Paola, Kansas, when he saw the victim, a Black man, walking on the sidewalk. Donner stopped, got out of the car, and approached the victim while brandishing a knife. Donner threatened the victim, yelled racial slurs, and told the victim that Paola is a “white town.”

“Racially-motivated threats and violence have no place in our society today,” said Assistant Attorney General Clarke. “This sentence should send a strong message to perpetrators of violent hate-fueled acts that they will be held accountable for their crimes. 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.”

“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,” said U.S. Attorney Slinkard. “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.”

“Every individual has the right to occupy a home free from racial discrimination, yet the defendant targeted the victim for no other reason than the victim’s race,” said Special Agent in Charge Dayoub. “The defendant’s actions, directly undermined the victim’s right to reside in a community in Paola, and to enjoy the protections afforded under the federal civil rights act. The FBI, along with our law enforcement partners, have no tolerance for this type of fear and intimidation and are committed to protecting residents regardless of their race, color, religion, gender, national origin or familial status.”

This case was investigated by the Paola Police Department and the Kansas City Field Office of the FBI.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tristam Hunt of the District of Kansas and Trial Attorney Anita Channapati of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section.

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