Kansas Man Indicted for Using Guns, Death Threats and Racial Slurs to Intimidate Black People
A Kansas man was indicted by a federal grand jury for using guns, death threats and racial slurs to intimidate Black people and interfere with multiple federally-protected rights.
The indictment alleges that, on July 27, 2022, Austin Schoemann, 30, of Wichita, brandished a firearm and used racial slurs in order to threaten two Black juveniles, Victims 1 and 2, while they were entering a QuikTrip gasoline station. In addition to intimidating and interfering with the two young men, Schoemann used his firearm to threaten a Black adult, Victim-3, who intervened in support of the juveniles’ federally-protected right to be free from racial discrimination when visiting a gasoline station. The indictment also charges Schoemann with using a firearm during and in relation to these crimes of violence.
The indictment further alleges that beginning in January 2022 and continuing through August 2022, Schoemann interfered with the federally-protected housing rights of a white woman, Victim-4, by making threats to hurt or kill any Black people who visited her home. The indictment alleges that Schoemann made many of these threats in-person, and that he would stand outside of Victim-4’s house and shout threats and racial slurs on occasions when he believed she had Black visitors in her house or planned to do so. Schoemann is also charged with two violations of using the internet to distribute videos and messages to Victim-4’s family members and others in which he repeatedly threatened to shoot and kill Black people.
Schoemann faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for the firearms charges, a maximum penalty of five years in prison for distribution of threating messages online and a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison for brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Kate E. Brubacher for the District of Kansas and Special Agent in Charge Charles Dayoub of the FBI Kansas City Field Office made the announcement.
The FBI Kansas City Field Office investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Smith for the District of Kansas and Trial Attorney Thomas Johnson of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.