Washington man will get 2 years for threatening Black customers


A suburban Seattle man was sentenced Friday to 2 years in federal jail for threatening to shoot Black prospects at grocery shops in Buffalo, New York, and at companies in different states.

Joey George of Lynnwood pleaded responsible in November to creating interstate threats and the hate crime of interference with a federally protected exercise, The Daily Herald reported.

As a part of a plea settlement George admitted he made cellphone calls threatening to shoot Black prospects at grocery shops in Buffalo, eating places in California and Connecticut, and a marijuana dispensary in Maryland.

According to the plea settlement, George began making calls in July — telling workers at one retailer to “take him seriously” as he was “preparing to shoot all Black customers.” One retailer closed.

In May, 10 Black customers and staff had been killed and a number of other others damage at Tops Friendly Supermarket in Buffalo. A 19-year-old white man, Payton Gendron, has pleaded responsible to homicide and hate-motivated terrorism prices.

George didn’t name the identical retailer however referenced it in threats, prosecutors stated.

His calls to companies in different states additionally concerned threats to Black individuals and in a single case, Hispanic individuals, prosecutors stated.

“What he did in this case was deplorable,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Woods stated at sentencing Friday.

George’s public defender, Mohammad Hamoudi, stated his consumer has autism and suffers from post-traumatic stress dysfunction after a traumatic, abusive childhood that brought about him to disassociate from actuality.

While on the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac, George has been seeing a psychologist, Hamoudi stated.

In court docket Friday, George stated he regrets his actions.

“What I did was wrong, and there is no excuse,” he stated. “And I feel bad for the people that I scared.”

U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo Martinez sentenced George to 2 years, the center of the sentencing pointers vary. He known as George’s actions “nothing other than terrorizing to the victims on the other end of those calls.”

Martinez additionally stated the case exhibits the necessity for extra psychological well being care.

“The fact that intellectually disabled people with severe mental health challenges end up in courtrooms and courthouses, rather than in places where they can be taken care of and perhaps helped, is one of the most difficult things in today’s society,” the choose stated.


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