A Texas man was subjected to evil and racist harassment from his white neighbor, including a doll hung with a noose outside of his apartment. The man responsible for the apparent intimidation tactic was charged with a misdemeanor but avoided a hate crime charge, the Dallas News reported.
Dante Petty, 28, found the hateful display hanging from a railing in Grapevine last December, he wrote on Facebook. Petty had installed a surveillance camera that recorded his neighbor, Glenn Halfin, 64, a former firefighter and arson investigator, leaving the noose — an abhorrently horrific symbol of the lynchings that were prevalent throughout the Jim Crow South. Nooses, seen as the ultimate representation of racist hate, have been used to taunt and scare Black people in many places across the nation in recent years including Aramis Ayala, Florida’s first and only Black State Attorney who received one in the mail as a threat last February.
“I just wanna show people that racism is very well ALIVE AND REAL,” Petty said in the post. “Thank God I put a camera up outside my apt because when I saw this man hanging a doll off the rails I was so fill[ed] up with anger…”
In Petty’s case, Halfin, who was charged with a misdemeanor civil rights offense last Friday by federal prosecutors in Dallas, went out of his way to taunt his neighbor. It can already be hard to move to an unfamiliar and new neighborhood, but Petty was targeted with hate by Halfin when he and his daughter become Grapevine residents last June, according to the Dallas News.
Halfin, who lived in the apartment directly below, also threw eggs and dog feces at Petty’s car. He was finally arrested in January and charged with stalking over the incidents after Grapevine police and the FBI got involved in the matter. He was also evicted from the Grapevine apartment complex that same month.
On Friday, he was charged with the misdemeanor of interfering with the right to fair housing, a crime involving threatening a person’s housing rights because of the individual’s race or color. What happened to Petty feels like a hate crime and could possibly be pursued if Halfin is convicted of the misdemeanor, Dallas News cited. Tarrant County district attorney’s spokeswoman declined to comment on a possible hate crime charge on Tuesday.