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Michigan Man Sentenced To Prison For Threatening BLM Protesters With Nooses And Racist Taunts

District Judge Thomas Ludington sentenced Kenneth Pilon to ten months in federal prison for harassing Starbucks employees about BLM shirts and leaving threatening notes and nooses at Goodwill and Walmart parking lots.

Kenneth Pilon

A Michigan man was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison plus one year of supervised release for multiple hate crimes he committed in June and July of 2020.

According to court records, Kenneth Pilon—a retired eye doctor—pleaded guilty to a series of acts including calling nine Starbucks stores in the mid and southeast Michigan regions, threatening employees wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts the company provided in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and subsequent protests in May of that year.

Pilon admitted to calling the stores as well as telling employees wearing the BLM shirts:

"The only good [n-word] is a dead [n-word]."

He also told one employee:

"I'm gonna go out and lynch me a [n-word]."

Pilon also admitted leaving nooses at various locations with attached notes that read:

"An accessory to be worn with your 'BLM' t-shirt."
"Happy protesting!"

The messages were left in parking lots at Goodwill and Walmart and inside a 7-Eleven.

Most on social media believe Pilon deserved his sentence, though many think it should be a much longer.


Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division said:

"The nooses, the threat letters, and the calls to Starbucks were all intended to terrorize the targeted victims solely because of their race."
"The Civil Rights Division will always stand up to race-based threats of violence, which have no place in civilized society."

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Dawn N. Ison added:

"A noose is a symbol of hatred that evokes the darkest days of our country's past."
"It's placement is meant to terrorize a part of our community, but we will not tolerate these race-based threats."
"Our office stands ready to vigorously investigate and prosecute criminal violations of our civil rights laws."

Special Agent in Charge James A. Tarasco of the FBI Detroit Field Office also shared:

"Pilon's hateful conduct, motivated by racial intolerance, was intended to intimidate the victims as well as create fear within the African-American community."
"The FBI and our law enforcement partners will ensure that if a crime is motivated by bias, it will be investigated as a hate crime and the perpetrators will be held accountable for their actions."

Hopefully other White nationalists will learn from Pilon's example.