Mother and son harassed Black neighbor 'by hanging a black-faced mannequin in their yard': Illinois AG
Mugshot (Carroll County jail)

Prosecutors filed hate crime complaint against an Illinois mother and her son for harassing a Black neighbor by mock lynching a mannequin in their yard.

The complaint filed in civil court by attorney general Kwame Raoul alleges that Cheryl Hampton, 67, and her son Chad, 45, hung a mannequin from a tree in their yard after Gregory Johnson moved from Chicago to Savanna, a town of about 3,000 people on the Mississippi River, to spend his retirement, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.

Johnson called police in October 2020 after spotting the mannequin -- which had been painted black, adorned with a curly black wig dusted with white paint and wrapped in chains -- in a tree that faced his house from the Hamptons' rented property, and he said the effigy's clothes resembled those he often wore and the hair resembled his salt-and-pepper hair.

Cheryl Hampton told police the dummy was a Halloween decoration but refused to move it to the other side of the property or paint it another color, and an officer came back the next day and saw a Confederate flag in the family's window facing Johnson's house and the N-word written in large black letters on the window pane.

IN OTHER NEWS: Mark Meadows' texts 'paint a very clear portrait' of Team Trump's plot to overthrow the election: Maggie Haberman

The effigy had appeared in their yard the day after Chad Hampton was arraigned on a misdemeanor charge for allegedly killing a strip of Johnson's lawn with weedkiller, and when he was initially charged a few weeks earlier swastikas were painted on their garage facing Johnson's windows.

The charges came after a dispute that began in July over a fence Johnson put up between their houses, and Cheryl Hampton told police she did not want Black people, whom she referred to with a racial slur, living next door, and officers saw Chad Hampton raise a Confederate flag on pole in their yard.

Johnson then said Chad Hampton sprayed weedkiller on his grass again after police left.

“We were there every time they did something to [Johnson], they would call us and [officers] would take pictures of it all, the swastikas, the Confederate flag," said Jeff Doran, chief of Savanna police. "It just kept escalating. I have never seen anything like it in almost 40 years in law enforcement.”

Chad Hampton has been charged with damaging Johnson's lawn, and Cheryl Hampton has been hit with a felony count of witness intimidation for refusing to take down the effigy, which police removed as evidence.

Savanna police reported the case to the FBI, which declined to bring charges, and returned the effigy in pieces, so the Hamptons filed complaint for damaging their property.

The attorney general's lawsuit seeks to prohibit the Hamptons from contacting Johnson or engaging in similar behavior with him or anyone else, and would fine them up to $25,000 each time they violated hate crime statutes.

The Hamptons have since moved from the house they rented next to Johnson.

NOW WATCH: MAGA hat-wearing Trumpster refuses to take a position on slavery

MAGA hat wearing Trumpster refuses to take a position on slavery