After a black couple in Colorado was arrested on charges of stalking, they have alleged that they are the victims of “blatant racism” and that members of the predominantly white community have been trying to chase them out through intimidation, including the killing of their livestock.
On Monday, Nicole Mallery filmed her interaction with members of law enforcement as her husband, Courtney Mallery was arrested on felony stalking charges related to their white neighbor, identified by Colorado Public Radio as Teresa Clark, before she too was arrested for a related warrant.
The owners of the roughly 1,000-acre Freedom Acres Ranch in El Paso County, Colorado have been engaged in a dispute for the past two years, according to 9News which documented the couple’s grievances with El Paso County Sheriff Deputy Sgt. Emory “Ray” Gerhart.
“Unfortunately, there are still corrupt police and racist people out there who are trying to block minority farmers from using their agricultural land because of their race. In Colorado Springs, the Mallery’s are the most recent victims of this blatant racism and vitriol,” they had said in a statement, according to 9News.
The couple has alleged that their numerous filed complaints, including six restraining order applications, have been ignored as they’ve had a chicken coop set on fire, property damaged, and livestock with names like George Floyd, Breonna and Juneteenth either mutilated or killed.
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After she was released from custody after about an hour, Nicole spoke before the press and claimed, “We are stalked. We are harassed. We are chased. We are followed. There’s been spray paint where they put ‘n—–‘ on items on our home.”
Speaking with Ark Republic, an outlet that states their “mission is to sketch a new social constitution by telling stories that provide a platform for productive engagements,” Courtney alleged that his arrest, for which he was prepared to turn himself in, was a “result of [Gerhart’s] lies and false charges.”
Gerhart is married to Colorado Judge Shannon Gerhart, a point the Mallerys presented, seeming to suggest further conspiracy.
Courtney established a Change.org petition seeking the termination of Gerhart where the U.S. Marine Corps veteran stated, “In spite of fighting for our country, my family and I have faced threats of lynching and hanging and now live in constant fear for our lives in rural Colorado Springs.”
He spent one night locked up before posting the $6,000 bond since then Rocky Mountain NAACP president Portia Prescott has come to the couple’s aid and told 9 News “I would really hope that the El Paso County Sheriff’s department and several others in rural areas understand that we’re taking this very seriously.”
“It needs to be taken a lot more seriously than they have taken it in the past,” Prescott added.
Outlets have sought confirmation from the sheriff’s office that they did indeed respond to the calls the Mallerys allege were ignored and a spokesperson has said all the evidence that includes bodycam footage is forthcoming.
In the meantime, El Paso County Sheriff Joseph J. Roybal released his own statement, publicly seeking help to resolve the conflict with the couple as he “respectfully [requested] the Black & Latino Leadership Coalition assist in coordinating a meeting with Mr. and Mrs. Courtney and Nicole Mallery.”
Sheriff's Office Addresses On-line Article
Media Release: https://t.co/pbGGQMqyV4 pic.twitter.com/uQPHNxGY6K
— EPCSheriff (@EPCSheriff) February 7, 2023
“I am requesting all interested parties meet in an effort to address ongoing concerns which have been brought forward by Mr. and Mrs. Mallery and indirectly by others through various social media platforms,” Roybal continued. “Additionally, would you consider including a panel of members which are a diverse representation of the community to be included in this panel?”
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