Anti-Muslim Hatred Blamed for Christian Man’s Death

Tulsa's Vernon Majors charged with murder
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2016 12:17 PM CDT
Guy Who Taunted 'Dirty Arabs' for Years Accused in Killing
Vernon Majors is charged with killing Khalid Jabara after taunting the Jabara family for years with anti-Muslim slurs.   (Tulsa County Jail via AP)

The family of an Oklahoma man allegedly gunned down by his next-door neighbor is demanding to know why the suspect had been released from jail before the shooting—where he had been awaiting trial in a brutal hit-and-run that nearly killed the victim’s mother, the Washington Post reports. The dead man is Khalid Jabara, 37, and his neighbor is Vernon Majors, 61. The family says Majors had harassed and stalked the Jabara family for years, taunting them with anti-Muslim insults, even though they’re Lebanese Christians. "This suspect had a history of bigotry against our family," the victim’s sister, Victoria Jabara Williams, wrote on Facebook, calling them “Dirty Arabs” and “Filthy Lebanese.” On Friday, Jabara called 911 to report his concern that Majors was home and armed.

The police came and went, and minutes later, Majors is accused of shooting Khalid Jabara as he stepped outside the family’s house in Tulsa to get the mail. Police said they found Majors drunk and chugging beer and arrested him after a brief stand-off. There was no cause to detain him earlier in the day, police said, because Majors hadn’t done anything wrong. Majors had been in jail awaiting trial for allegedly plowing into Jabara’s mother with his car, then leaving the scene. The family says he never should have been allowed to post bond for what they deemed a hate crime, reports the Tulsa World. The case "is one of the most devastating and infuriating accounts of systemic failures in the legal system you are likely to read about," writes Jeremy Stahl at Slate. (Read more Khalid Jabara stories.)

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