Accused of leading an armed mob of white people to an innocent black family’s house in a case of mistaken identity, a former North Carolina deputy was recently fired and charged with forcible trespass, breaking and entering, and willful failure to discharge duties. Although off-duty, the deputy leading the misguided vigilante group was armed and wearing his official uniform.
Around 10 p.m. on May 3, Monica Shepard was asleep in her bedroom when a mob of armed white people banged on her front door. Playing video games in the front room, Monica’s son, Dameon Shepard, opened the door and discovered the angry mob of over two dozen people.
The group demanded to know information about a young missing girl named Lekayda Kempisty, who reportedly had run away from home and was eventually located later that evening. When Dameon denied any knowledge of the missing girl, off-duty New Hanover County Sheriff’s Deputy Jordan Kita allegedly stuck his foot in the doorway and demanded to enter the house without a warrant.
In addition to Kita being armed, two men standing behind the off-duty deputy were armed with a shotgun and rifle. The mob accused Dameon of being an individual named Josiah who reportedly had lived next door but moved away last month.
Pleading with Kita and the mob, Dameon kept repeating his name and the name of his high school, which were posted on a sign in the front yard congratulating Dameon for his recent graduation. After eventually reading the sign, the ignorant mob disbanded shortly before police arrived at the scene.
“There may have been enough evidence collected that night to make an arrest,” Pender Sheriff Alan Cutler told Port City Daily. “We didn’t want to rush to any hasty decisions … The situation was diffused, and we didn’t feel like there was any threat that evening. So we took a little more time to make sure we made an informed decision.”
On Friday, New Hanover and Pender County District Attorney Ben David announced that Kita was recently fired and will face charges of forcible trespass, breaking and entering, and willful failure to discharge duties. A second person, Austin Wood, will be charged with going armed to the terror of the community.
Last week, a former Georgia police officer and his son were arrested and charged with murder after deciding to become armed vigilantes and gunning down an innocent black man jogging through the neighborhood.