A North Carolina sheriff’s deputy has been fired and charged after leading an armed mob to an African American teenager’s home.
According to The Grio, Jordan Kita, a detention officer in the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, was the leader of an armed group of about 16 men with guns on Sunday, May 3, that confronted Dameon Shepard at his home. Kita organized the mob to locate a missing girl.
Pender County District Attorney Ben David announced Kita was fired Friday and charged with forcible trespassing, misdemeanor breaking or entering, and willful failure to discharge duties.
David added that Kita is accused of going to Shepard’s home “while armed and in uniform in a county where he was not duly sworn in and in furtherance of personal—not law enforcement—purposes.”
The Shepard’s are preparing to file a civil suit due to the incident.
“We obviously cannot have armed groups of citizens patrolling the streets of Pender County or New Hanover County terrorizing innocent families,” said Shepard’s attorney, James W. Lea.
The missing girl, 15-year-old Lekayda Kempisty, has since been found safe. Not only did Shepard not know the girl, but it turned out the mob went to the wrong house. The group was looking for someone named Josiah when they knocked on Shepard’s door.
Shepard was playing video games late Sunday night when the mob showed up at his home, answered the door and was met by Kita and his mob. When Shepard tried to close the door, Kita, armed with an assault rifle, put his foot in the doorway.
Shepard told the mob that the man they were looking for previously lived next door. The commotion woke up Shepard’s mother, Monica Shepard, who told the group to leave.
“What if he was the person they were looking for or what if I was not home? What would’ve happened,” Monica Shepard told local TV station WECT. “I don’t want to have that conversation. I don’t want him to be a statistic. It’s scary.”
The police arrived at Shepard’s home Sunday, but none of the men were arrested.
There has been a litany of racially motivated incidents in recent weeks in the U.S. Two men were charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery last week after the story gained national attention.
Anthony Trifiletti, a Minnesota resident was charged with murder after killing Doug Lewis, a 39-year-old African American man. Trifiletti shot Lewis four times following a minor car accident.