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(Wilmington, N.C.) – A Pender County District Court failed to hold a fired off-duty New Hanover County Sheriff’s Deputy and a dozen other individuals with guns criminally liable today after the group accosted a mother and her son in their home in May of 2020.

The following is a statement from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:

“While we are disappointed in the outcome of the criminal trial, we will continue to fight for justice for the Shepards in our civil suit. The harm that the defendants caused our clients demonstrates that the nation’s, and indeed North Carolina’s, history of racist violence against Black people is far from over. The fact that defendants did not stop to think how their actions – taken late at night, in a large group, while armed with multiple guns – would impact the Shepards, is evidence that white privilege remains alive and well.”

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About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes.  For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.