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Wayne County prosecutors announced on Tuesday they would not file charges against the 31-year-old man, following a dispute between him and his black neighbour, 57-year-old Je Donna Dinges, over the flag.
While the hanging of the KKK flag directly in view of the black family’s home was ”despicable”, prosecutor Kym Worthy said it was not sufficient for filing charges.
According to the prosecutor, Michigan’s laws on ethnic intimidation require physical contact, damage, destruction, defacement of property or threats — and so disqualify the KKK flag.
“There is absolutely no question that what happened to Ms Dinges was despicable, traumatising, and completely unacceptable,” said Ms Worthy in a press release. “But, very unfortunately in my view, not a crime.”
"The KKK flag, while intending to be visible to Ms Dinges, was hanging inside of her neighbour’s house,” said the prosecutor. “We could not even begin to charge Ethnic Intimidation under current Michigan law.”
Ms Worthy, the first Black woman to serve as a county prosecutor in the state, added: “I strongly encourage the Michigan Legislature to look, revise, and create laws to protect citizens from this kind of horrible conduct."
It follows protests over the flying of the KKK flag outside Ms Dinges’ home, which was first noticed when her ex-husband took-out the rubbish on 15 February, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Officers from Grosse Pointe Park's police department then investigated the incident, with police reporting the man’s KKK flag had been replaced with sheets.
City Manager Nick Sizeland told he Detroit Free Press that the man’s girlfriend claimed they couldn’t afford a curtain. Neither were named.
Before the flag incident, Ms Dinges said she was concerned about her safety after finding a full gas can inside her outdoor recycling bin.
She said during the protest that she was dissatisfied with the police department’s initial response to the KKK flag — a symbol of white supremacy and violence.
Additional reporting by Associated Press