A Washington white man has pleaded guilty to making interstate threats and committing a hate crime for interference with a federally protected activity.
According to the Department Of Justice, Joey David George made threatening telephone calls from at or near his home in Lynnwood, to grocery stores in Buffalo, New York, restaurants in California and Connecticut, and a marijuana dispensary in Maryland.
George, 37, of Lynwood, telephoned multiple grocery stores in Buffalo, New York, and threatened to shoot Black people in the stores. George told the staff at the store to “take him seriously,” and ordered the store to clear out the customers, as he was “nearby” and “preparing to shoot all Black customers.” His threats came just months after Payton Gendron went on a racist rampage killing 10 Black people at a supermarket in Buffalo.
According to the plea agreement, in addition to the calls to Buffalo, George admits that in May, he called a restaurant in San Bruno, California allegedly threatening to shoot Black and Hispanic patrons in the restaurant. His goal was to strike fear in the Bay Area Black community.
George’s reign of terror didn’t begin there. On Sept. 11, 2021, George called a cannabis dispensary in Rockville, Maryland, and used racial slurs as he threatened to shoot and kill Black people at the business. The dispensary shut down and hired extra security, causing a loss of over $50,000. On the same day, George called a Denny’s restaurant in Enfield, Connecticut, and threatened Black patrons there as well.
The plea agreement also says George has agreed to pay restitution to the impacted businesses.
George has been in federal custody since his arrest on July 22. In August he was indicted by a federal grand jury for a hate crime and four counts of interstate threats.
According to the DOJ, making interstate threats is punishable by up to five years in prison. Interfering with a federally protected activity is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Sentencing is scheduled in front of U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez on Dec.16. It’s worth noting, Judge Martinez is not bound by prosecutors’ recommendations and can impose any sentence up to the 10-year statutory maximum.
If you go out of your way to terrorize Black people in multiple states you deserve the harsh punishment that follows.