A black pastor in the US state of Virginia has told his congregation that he was arrested earlier this month after he attempted to report five white people for trespassing.
In a 38-minute video of his sermon on 7 June, Leon McCray told his congregation that an incident occurred at his house at the start of the month where a group of people were illegally attempting to dump a refrigerator on his property.
McCray says confronted the group but they refused to leave and they soon started to verbally abuse the pastor and attacking him physically. Describing the scene he said:
They became irate and began verbally attacking me and threatening me about what they would do. One of the individuals got in my face and was going off. The other individual left. He came back with three more people. Now I’ve got five people, three males and two females in my face, attacking me, verbally and physically. And threatening to kill me.
At the same time, these same individuals was threatening my life, telling me that my black life, and Black Lives Matter stuff…they don’t give a darn about that stuff in this county, and ‘they could care less if we would kill you'.
Fearing what might happen to him, McCray decided to draw his handgun, which he has a concealed permit for, and called the police to report the incident.
However, when the police arrived at the location, he says they proceeded to talk to the five white people who were causing the trouble and then arrested McCray for 'brandishing a firearm' while the five white folks were free to leave without charge.
, in a Facebook post shared by Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy Carter on 3 June, Carter apologised for what had happened to McCray, writing:
If I were faced with similar circumstances, I would have probably done the same thing.
In an interview with
, Carter said that he believed McCray and that he was "defending himself."
Carter added that he has asked the county attorney to drop the charges against McCray but according to a
Facebook post by the pastor
, as of Monday the charges hadn't been dropped.
adds that the five individuals who attacked McCray have now been charged with trespassing, assault, hate crime assault, and battery.