An Indiana man is facing felony charges after he confronted a Black woman who was doing yard work in her front yard.
William Hoffman, a 37-year-old resident of Westville, Indiana, is facing one count of intimidation and after he aggressively approached a Black woman with a shovel.
The woman told police she was doing yard work outside her home on Center Street on Friday, April 23, at around 3 p.m. when a blue pickup truck drove by and Hoffman, the driver, began yelling slurs. The woman did not respond, and the truck passed by a second time as Hoffman continued to shout racial slurs.
Hoffman got out of the truck carrying the shovel and approached the woman aggressively while continuing to shout slurs. The woman ran inside her home and called the police. She also filmed part of the encounter on her phone and showed it to police.
“[The woman] stated to me that she was extremely scared and worried about what the subject was going to do to her,” police said. “[The woman] was still visibly upset while I spoke with her as she began to cry during our conversation.”
“Go back to Africa where you belong. N****r, get out of here!”, Hoffman reportedly yelled at the woman.
When police questioned Hoffman at his home, he smelled like alcohol. During the conversation with police, Hoffman called the woman a slur and said he was working near her home and that she would not allow him to drive in her yard. Hoffman continued using racial slurs toward the woman even as he was being hauled off to jail. “The (racial slur) need to go back to Gary and Portage.”
In response to police telling Hoffman the woman was frightened by his actions, he replied, “Tell that [racial slur] to get out of here! She’s not welcome here.”
For good measure, Hoffman told police he isn’t racist and that his best friend is Black.
On social media, some users suggested Hoffman be charged with a hate crime for his actions.
“I’m glad to see he was charged with intimidation, which is a felony. I think they could have tacked on a hate crime charge too though,” one user wrote.
Another questioned Hoffman’s assertion that he has a Black best friend and is not racist, writing, “mY fRiEnD iS bLaCK. Favorite line by every racist.”
Another added, “always a classic. “my best friend is black.”
One user reminded Hoffman that he too can leave and go back where he came from, “He’s free to move countries as well and go back to Europe. At least (most) Europeans made the choice to come to North America versus Africans from the 1600’s onwards who were forced before transatlantic slave trading was banned.”