Black Ranchers Arrested After Accusing Their White Neighbors of Racist Harassment

Courtney Wayne Mallery and his wife Nicole were taken into custody Monday and charged with stalking, petty theft, and tampering with a utility meter.

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Two Black ranchers were arrested this week after accusing white locals of racial discrimination and harassment.

According to Colorado Springs’ Gazette, Courtney Wayne Mallery and his wife Nicole moved to Colorado in 2017, having been displaced by Hurricane Harvey. About three years after their arrival, the couple purchased a 1,000-acre ranch in the predominately white El Paso County—a decision that allegedly made them the targets of an extensive intimidation campaign.

The Mallerys say they’ve spent the last several years dealing with racially motivated attacks on their property. They claim their neighbors have painted slurs on their land, burned their Black Lives Matter flags, poisoned and slaughtered their animals, and even waved firearms at them. The husband and wife say they’ve made multiple complaints to local authorities, but their claims have gone mostly ignored.

On Monday, Courtney and Nicole Mallery were arrested by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and charged with stalking, petty theft, and tampering with a utility meter. Nicole Mallery captured her husband’s arrest on a livestream and urged viewers to call the sheriff’s office.

“Let’s flood these lines to make sure that Courtney Mallery is not harmed while he’s in custody,” she said during the broadcast.

Nicole Mallery was arrested shortly after, and released an hour later. Her husband remained behind bars until the following day, when the NAACP posted his $6,000 bond.

According to the Gazette, it’s unclear what led to the charges; however, El Paso District and County Magistrate Deborah Pearson pointed to a series of documents detailing complaints filed against the Mallerys. Some were filed by their neighbor Teresa Clark, who accused the couple of harassment and stalking, as well as hurting one of her horses.

The Mallerys made national headlines last month when their allegations were detailed in an Ark Republic story titled “Get out. Black Colorado ranchers face domestic terrorism by local whites who they say are trying to steal their land.”

“We are upset, we are here to fight, but they’re trying to silence us and make us look like we’re crazy,” Courtney Mallery told the outlet. “They [are] trying to steal my land and lock us up to cover this up.”

The NAACP has stepped in to assist the Mallerys in their fight.

“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,” said Rocky Mountain NAACP president Portia Prescott, per 9 News. “It needs to be taken a lot more seriously than they have taken it in the past.”

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office says it’s investigated 19 different complaints and responded to more than 170 calls “filed by and/or involving” the Mallerys. The office insisted it “takes all allegations of crime and civil rights violations seriously” and will release relative documents and records—including bodycam footage—upon request.

“Sheriff Joseph Roybal and the nearly 1,000 dedicated sworn and professional staff of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office remain committed to fostering safety for our community and our neighbors while ensuring Constitutional and civil rights are upheld regardless (of) race, color, national origin, or any other legally protected characteristic,” the office wrote in a statement.

Nicole Mallery’s court hearing was scheduled for Thursday, while Courtney Mallery is due back in court on Feb. 14. 

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