New Neighbors Hold Black Man, Family at Gunpoint

They thought the Kalonji family was trying to break into newly purchased home
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2012 3:49 PM CDT
This screenshot from WSBTV shows Jean Kalonji at the front door of his new home.   (WSBTV)

(Newser) – The Kalonji family got a nasty surprise when it tried to change the locks on its newly-purchased Georgia home last week: Their new neighbors threatened them with guns, called the police, and had them arrested, WSBTV reports. Jean Kalonji says a man and someone who might have been his son pointed a gun at him and his wife. "He say to put the hands up and get out from the house otherwise he would shoot us," Kalonji said.

The neighbors thought the Kalonjis were breaking into the house, and didn't believe their protestations to the contrary. When police showed up, the family didn't have their closing papers with them, so they were arrested and charged with loitering and prowling. Kalonji, who grew up in the Congo, says the experience was all too familiar. "There, they put me down with the gun to my head," he said. "Here, the same."

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