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Charges dropped against Black couple who complained of racism and harassment

The dismissal of charges comes about four months after the two were arrested amid tensions with their predominately white neighbors in El Paso County.
Credit: arinahabich - stock.adobe.com

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — The El Paso County District Attorney's Office dropped all charges on Thursday against Courtney and Nicole Mallery, a Black couple who were accused of stalking and had accused their white neighbors of harassment and racism.

The Mallerys were charged in February with felony stalking, prompting the Rocky Mountain NAACP to investigate how the El Paso County Sheriff's Office handled the case and the arrests.

For the past two years, the Mallerys have claimed people have targeted their farm, called Freedom Acres Ranch, through acts of vandalism and mutilation of their livestock. The couple also accused the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office of racism and dismissing their claims, which the agency denied in a lengthy news conference.

Their attorneys, including Tyrone Glover, issued a statement Thursday saying all charges were dropped against them because prosecutors "could not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."

"We are pleased with this outcome and recognize the District Attorney's Office for reaching this conclusion," the statement says. "While justice has been served today, the fight for individual, law enforcement and prosecutorial accountability are far from over. We implore the District Attorney's and Sheriff's Offices to conduct more thorough front-end investigations before filing charges, to minimize injustices such as these in the future and to ensure the criminally accused are afforded due process of law."

The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office said that the case is now sealed.

In February, the Rocky Mountain NAACP said it was pushing state lawmakers to pass a version of the CAREN Act in Colorado.

The CAREN Act stands for Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies. The name is also a play on the name “Karen,” which has become synonymous with a person who calls 911 on people of color.

Such a bill hasn’t been introduced in Colorado.

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