A Michigan man who displayed a white supremacist Ku Klux Klan flag facing his Black neighbor's home committed a "despicable" act but not a crime, the county prosecutor said.
"Unfortunately" no charges could be filed against the 31-year-old white man, who was not publicly identified by the authorities, Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said Tuesday.
JeDonna Dinges, a 57-year-old Black woman living in Grosse Pointe Park, a suburb of Detroit, complained to police last month after viewing the Ku Klux Klan flag in her neighbor's window.
"The flag was clearly visible to Ms. Dinges and her family from their dining room," Worthy said in a statement.
"The KKK flag, while intending to be visible to Ms. Dinges, was hanging inside of her neighbor's house."
The prosecutor said that to file charges under the state's "Ethnic Intimidation Statute," there must be "physical contact, damage, destruction, defacement of property, or threats to do so."
"After a thorough review of the facts and evidence in this case it has been determined that there is insufficient evidence to charge Ethnic Intimidation or any other charge," she said. "We could not even begin to charge Ethnic Intimidation under current Michigan law."
The prosecutor condemned the neighbor's actions, however, and called on the Michigan legislature to "create laws to protect citizens from this kind of horrible conduct."
"There is absolutely no question that what happened to Ms. Dinges was despicable, traumatizing, and completely unacceptable," Worthy said. "But, very unfortunately in my view, not a crime."
According to US media reports, the neighbor eventually removed the flag after police bought him curtains.