A 28-year-old North Carolina man is under arrest for a variety of offenses after threatening and harassing a worker at the public polls.
According to reports, the poll worker observed the defendant in the parking lot outside the polling location taking photos or video of the scene. He appeared to be armed with a weapon that was holstered at his side. Eventually, the man approached the poll worker and began yelling racial slurs before threatening to assault him. The defendant gestured toward his holstered weapon as he made the threats, although he did not draw it.
The defendant is white; the poll worker is black. After the poll worker alerted police, a team of law enforcement officers quickly tracked down the suspect and two other men who were involved in the incident. While the two other men were ultimately not arrested, the 28-year-old now faces serious charges including ethnic intimidation and communicating threats.
This is the second recent incident in North Carolina in which a black person was harassed and threatened by a white person for no obvious reason. The previous incident involved a white woman who harassed several black women as they waited in a parking lot for auto assistance. That woman ultimately was charged for misusing the 911 system, among other things.
It's important to be conscious of the fact that threats and intimidation are not something that the police take lightly -- particularly when race may be an issue. There are numerous laws in place that make racially-based offenses subject to severe penalties. In this day and age, it's also wise to be aware of the fact that almost everyone has a recording device right in their pocket -- which can provide the police with all the evidence they need to convict you.
The long-term consequences of a criminal conviction on your life can be tremendous. A defense attorney can help you understand all your legal options and protect your rights.