October 2, 2022

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Wisconsin Man Charged with Seeking to Intimidate and Interfere with Housing Rights Following Racially-Motivated Incidents

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A federal criminal complaint was issued charging William A. McDonald, 54, of West Allis, Wisconsin, with using force and threatening to use force to injure, intimidate and interfere with the housing rights of multiple individuals because of their race, color or national origin. Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Richard G. Frohling for the Eastern District of Wisconsin made the announcement.

According to a publicly filed complaint, law enforcement has been investigating a series of racially motivated incidents involving property damage and threats of bodily harm unless individuals move from West Allis. The complaint alleges that McDonald violated federal law with respect to one or more of these incidents.

The FBI’s Milwaukee Field Office and the West Allis Police Department are investigating the case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Philip Kovoor and Christopher Ladwig for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, in collaboration with Trial Attorney Nikhil Ramnaney for the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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