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Amid an apparent ongoing spate of white vigilantes possibly motivated by racism, a Black father and his toddler son were held at gunpoint last weekend in Michigan after a homeowner expressed anger over yardwork that was not being done on his property.

Breyon Woods told Click On Detroit that he brought his 4-year-old son along on a yardwork job at a home in Dearborn Heights on Saturday when he saw Mark Denis Grzybowski, who owns a neighboring home, aiming a rifle at them.

“As I’m showing my son how to use the blower, like we’re coming from the backyard into the front, and I just look to the left, he got the rifle pointed right at me and my son,” Woods, 31, explained. “He said last year we left stuff on his driveway, and this year, we’re not going to do it.”

But when the local police were notified, Grzybowski, 63, barricaded himself in his home during a standoff that lasted for more than four hours.

Grzybowski ultimately emerged from his home and was arrested. On Monday, he was formally arraigned and charged by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office with carrying a weapon with unlawful intent, a count of using a pneumatic gun during a felony, and two counts of misdemeanor assault.

A bond of $50,000 was set. If Grzybowski’s bond is paid, he will have to wear a GPS monitor. Grzybowski is scheduled to appear in court again on May 8.

Amazingly, Grzybowski did not pull the trigger and Woods and his son were not physically harmed from the ordeal.

White vigilantism is thriving

Other Black people who have found themselves in similar situations being approached by white vigilantes with homicidal intentions were not as fortunate as Woods and his son.

In late March, 81-year-old William Brock was charged with the felony murder of a Black woman Uber driver after he shot and killed Lo-Letha Hall, who was the victim of the same scam call Brock had been scammed by. A video of the incident includes footage of the accused murderer holding Hall at gunpoint while demanding she give him information she didn’t have on the scammers who allegedly set this entire tragedy in motion.

Late last year, a young white woman was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of felony murder, malice murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and three charges of weapons possession during a crime in the 2019 murder of 62-year-old Kenneth Herring in Clayton County, Georgia. Hannah Payne — who witnessed a minor traffic accident when Herring, who was reportedly experiencing a medical emergency, hit a tractor-trailer and drove off — chased after Herring, blocked his car with hers, ordered him out of the car as if she had the authority to do so, pointed her gun at him, and ultimately, shot the elderly man to death.

Also last year, New York City subway rider Daniel Penny – a white Marine trained to kill – choked to death Jordan Neely over the perceived threat of violence from the unarmed Black man who was complaining loudly of being hungry. Penny’s manslaughter trial is set to begin in October.

The very next month, Susan Lorincz, a white Florida resident, killed unarmed and nonviolent neighbor Ajike “AJ” Owens by firing a gun through her front door following an incident with Owens’ young children. Lorincz’s murder trial is scheduled to start in June.

This is America.


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