‘What Do You Want Us to Do About It?’: Texas Man Terrorized Neighbor’s Black Sons, Allegedly Hung Noose to Threaten Them. Police Told Her It Was Freedom of Speech

A Manvel, Texas, woman said her two young boys suffered racist harassment for more than a year, including nooses displayed in her neighbor’s yard, but her complaints to local police went nowhere until a family member took the matter to the mayor’s office.

Mayor Dan Davis said he was notified of the hateful incidents over the weekend of June 29-30 and immediately launched an investigation. On Monday, July 1, the desperate mom and her father, who lives with her in the Houston suburb, spoke out at a Manvel City Council meeting to demand that police take these incidents seriously.

Kat Ducommun recounted the nightmare her boys have endured for months, describing a particularly terrifying interaction with her neighbor and the lack of appropriate police response. She said her neighbor hung the noose in his yard directly in front of her house with a message for her young son.

Man Accused of Hanging Noose and Harassing Texas Family for Over a Year Is Finally Under Investigation After Police Ignored Complaints
Kat Ducommun shared this photo of her neighbor glaring lights in front of her home. (Photo: Facebook/Kat Ducommun)

“’Well, I have something for your little boy,’ and pointed to the tree to that noose talking about the rope,” she said at the City Council meeting, shaking and in tears. “Told your officers and nothing happened. I’m sorry I’m getting emotional, but I’m a mom just trying to do this for my kids.”

Her dad, George Ducommun, told the City Council that he had personally been to the police department on four different occasions to lodge complaints about the “torment,” but he was repeatedly rebuffed. “I even had one officer tell me, ‘Well, what do you want us to do about it?’” George also alleged that the man had pulled guns on several neighbors.

The latest incident with the noose was the last straw for Kat Ducommun, who is determined to spotlight the situation and is now turning to the press, contacting civil rights advocates, and asking the district attorney’s office to get involved.

“We’ve tried to go through the correct routes, and we have not been heard… It’s been known we’ve had issues this entire time, and nothing is being done with the police,” she told the City Council.

Over the past year and a half, Ducommun said her neighbor has let his dog off-leash to chase after her son and pointed commercial-grade lights at their home throughout the night in addition to handheld spotlights, which is considered a nuisance under Texas state law.

“The fact that our house looks like Christmas every night. The light is shining through our windows. The officers tell us, ‘Well, just get blackout curtains,’ Well, why do I have to get blackout curtains when a known racist is across the street from my children?” Ducommun said at the meeting. Shockingly, police refused to take any action regarding the noose, citing freedom of speech.

Manvel Police Chief Keith Traylor promised immediate action when contacted by a reporter from local station KHOU 11 and confirmed that police are now investigating allegations of racism and racial threats. But he initially told a reporter that the police needed proof of a racially motivated threat regarding the noose before they could force the neighbor to take it down.

“That’s the thing. They are waiting for something bad to happen at this point. And my father, you know, he even thought about us moving. Why don’t we just move? For what? This is going to happen to someone else who comes lives here,” Ducommun told KHOU.

Mayor Davis condemned the racist actions as soon as the allegations were brought to his attention — he confirmed the noose is now down.

“I am deeply troubled by this and want to be unequivocally clear: Racially motivated actions are abhorrent and have no place in our city, nor do they reflect the values of our community or our City Council,” he wrote in a press release on July 2.

City officials will be reviewing police body camera footage from the alleged incidents, and police have now issued a violation for the light infractions.

“We have been informed the lighting was taken down. If the violation of city code happens in the future, we will be issuing daily citations until it is addressed,” Davis wrote in the official statement, adding, “One of our Police Sergeants has spoken with the family impacted about our animal control ordinance and the enforcement tools we have through it.”

“I have reached out to community leaders, civil rights activists, and the family to reaffirm my support and full commitment to seeing this investigated fully,” he stated.

According to the ACLU, symbols of hate, like a noose, are not protected under the First Amendment if they’re used to target or threaten an individual, as is the case with Ducommun and her children. They’re only constitutionally protected if they’re worn or displayed in a public place in front of a general audience, such as at a march or rally at a public park.

“Nobody should have to deal with this,” Ducommun told Fox 26. “My kids should not have to deal with this. They should not have to be raised next to this,” she said. “If something was to happen to him…” she said, referring to her son who was targeted with the noose. “Because I don’t want it to get to that point, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do this whole time is be proactive.”

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