Michigan Lawyer Says Hanging KKK Flag In View Of Black Family 'Unfortunately' Was No Crime

A Michigan lawyer declined to prosecute a man who hung a Klu Klux Klan (KKK) flag in view of his Black neighbors.

"There is absolutely no question that what happened to Ms. Dinges was despicable, traumatizing and completely unacceptable," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said, referencing the woman who reported the flag to local police. "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 neighbor's house."

According to a press release from the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, "after a thorough review of the facts and evidence in this case it has been determined that there is insufficient evidence to charge Ethnic Intimidation," which requires "physical contact, damage, destruction, defacement of property, or threats."

Worthy, who is Black, encouraged the state's Legislature to "look, revise and create laws to protect citizens from this kind of horrible conduct."

The incident occurred approximately two weeks ago when JeDonna Dinges, 57, of Grosse Pointe Park noticed the flag hanging in the home next door. It was visible from her dining room window, she said.

Dinges previously spoke with the Detroit News about the incident and said "My first reaction was shock and then it was a combination of shock and anger."

"The KKK flag is a symbol of hatred, violence and intimidation against Black and Brown people," she added.

While Dinges did not identify the neighbor during her interview with the Detroit News, she said that the flag "was to send a clear message to me that you aren't welcome here ... and that I'm a racist, ugly person and I'm letting you know that I want to intimidate you, scare you and you aren't welcome here."

A member of the Ku Klux Klan, with the word "Love" tattooed on his fingers, holds a flag during a rally, calling for the protection of Southern Confederate monuments, in Charlottesville, Virginia on July 8, 2017 Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

The flag was removed after police with large cloths visited the home and made a switch, City Manager Nick Sizeland told the Detroit Free Press last week.

The man's girlfriend claimed they couldn't afford a curtain, Sizeland said.

The klan was a secretive society organized in the South after the Civil War to assert white supremacy, often using violence.

Dinges said she understood Worthy's position.

"I hope the lawmakers are listening. ... The average person would not own a klan flag, which is a true symbol of hatred," Dinges said.

Dozens of people turned out for a Feb. 21 march and rally to support her.

Before the flag incident, Dinges said she was concerned about her safety after finding a full gas can inside her outdoor recycling bin.