Wake DA charges man accused of pointing a gun at a Black mother in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Criminal charges were filed in Wake County District Court in the case of a Raleigh mother who says she had a gun pulled on her by two men wearing "MAGA" hats.

"He pointed (the gun) at me and my 15-year-old daughter that was in the passenger side seat," Zariel Balogun described back in July when ABC 11 first reported the scary allegations.

Balogun said she and her 15-year-old daughter were racially harassed at gunpoint while leaving the BJ's Wholesale Club off Capital Boulevard in northeast Raleigh. She alleged two white men, wearing Make America Great Again caps shouted racial slurs; one of the men allegedly pointed at gun at Balogun's car.

"I told him to put his gun away because he wasn't going to shoot anyone. When I said that, it kind of made him mad. He started saying, 'oh they're not scared of guns. They're ghetto, Black b****s. He immediately turned his hat around and said 'this is exactly why we need to make America great again because of these ghetto Black b****s'"
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Wake District Attorney, Lorrin Freeman has charged Daniel Wilkinson with two counts of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon. There was no mugshot on record, as Wilkinson was not arrested; he was served with an order to appear in court. If convicted he faces up to 60 days in jail on each count.

"We're happy. We're pleased that this was charged," said Balogun's attorney, Dawn Blagrove. "What we're not happy about, however, is the fact that District Attorney Freeman, does not believe that this crime was racially-motivated."



We took that concern to Freeman tonight. Why wasn't Wilkinson charged with the more serious offense of ethnic intimidation?

Freeman told ABC11 over the phone, "We do not anticipate additional charges... After a thorough investigation reviewing the circumstances under which the victim and defendant were interviewed, we did not find evidence to support (the crime) was initiated based on ethnicity."

Blagrove responded, "I think it speaks directly to the failure on the part of our elected officials to really take seriously and protect the lives of Black people. (Racial intimidation) is a real threat. These crimes are on the rise."

Raleigh Police were able to identify Wilkinson based on the info from the victim. He turned himself in and is due in court to be arraigned on the assault charges Sept. 14.
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