Wisconsin man pleads guilty to intimidating Black neighbors at apartment complex

(GERMANY OUT) gavel, hammer and book (Photo by Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

A Wisconsin man has pleaded guilty Thursday to intimidating and interfering with Black residents who moved into a suburban Milwaukee apartment complex where he lived.

William McDonald of West Allis faces up to 11 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 29, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin Gregory Haanstad said.

McDonald admitted that in March 2021 he slashed the tires and smashed the windshield of a vehicle owned by a Black woman that was parked outside her apartment, according to court documents.

A note threatening to slash the woman’s throat, filled with racial slurs and demanding that she move from West Allis also was left. Her tires were slashed a week later, and another note filled with racial slurs and a threat if she didn’t move from the neighborhood was left, Haanstad’s office said.

About a year later, racist graffiti was written on door to an apartment where another Black woman and her two children lived. A note was left calling the family a racial slur and demanding they move.

"The conduct at issue in this case strikes at the very core of the civil rights guaranteed to every American citizen under federal law," Haanstad said in a release. "I commend the courage of those targeted by Mr. McDonald for coming forward."