'Boo hoo': Alabama woman on her way to prison for taunting neighbors with racist doll display
The United States Department of Justice announced on Thursday that it has sentenced sixty-four-year-old Cheryl Lynn Pytleski of Chancellor, Alabama to one year in prison after she pleaded guilty to "violating the civil rights of her neighbors" four years ago.
Middle District of Alabama US Attorney Sandra J. Stewart stated in a press release that "Pytleski hung racially offensive homemade dolls on the fence of her next-door neighbors, an African American family, in an attempt make the family move away. Pytleski pleaded guilty to a criminal violation of the Fair Housing Act in March of this year. In her plea agreement, Pytleski specifically admitted to using the threat of force to intimidate her neighbors because of their race and because they were occupying a dwelling next to her."
Everett wrote at the time, "Videos show the dolls hanging from a fence facing another neighbor's yard. At the scene, many neighbors were unwilling to talk on-camera with WDHN as they feared retaliation. However, they did say there have been numerous attempts to have the dolls taken completely down, but no success has been made."
One resident, Leonard Herring, told Everett. "It don't take a genius to see a black doll, with a rope around its neck, hanging from a post or a tree with KKK."
Everett added, "Reports said police were able to persuade the dolls' owner to put the dolls on the other side of the fence, but that hasn’t stopped the creation of even more dolls."
According to the DOJ, "A person violates the Fair Housing Act if he or she uses force, or threatens the use of force, to willfully injure, intimidate, or interfere with, any person because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, who is or has been engaged in the selling, purchasing, renting, financing, occupying, or contracting or negotiating for the sale, purchase, rental, financing, or occupation of any dwelling. The 12-month sentence, ordered on September 6, 2023, is the maximum allowed under the federal statute. There is no parole in the federal system."
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