A white man accused of firing shots into the home of a Black suburban Detroit family who put a Black Lives Matter sign in their window expressed regret and asked for forgiveness during a pre-trial court hearing Thursday.
“I’m extremely regretful of what I did. I can say it’s not like me,” said Michael Frederick Jr., 24, as he appeared by video in Warren District Court for his arraignment. “I acted way out of character. This wasn’t about the color of anyone’s skin.”
Frederick was arrested Tuesday and faces charges that include ethnic intimidation, in connection to a string of crimes that targeted the home of Eddie and Candace Hall in the city of Warren, about 19 miles north of downtown Detroit.
Over a period of a few days beginning Sept. 7, the Halls twice had shots fired at their home, a large rock hurled through the window, their tires slashed, and an anti-Black Lives Matter message and swastika scrawled on their truck.
Graffiti with racial threats can be seen on a truck belonging to Eddie Hall Jr. and his wife Candace in front of their Warren, Mich., home on Sept. 10, 2020. An arrest has been made in connection with vandalism and shots fired into the couple's home.David Guralnick / Detroit News via AP file
Judge Michael Chupa on Thursday ordered Frederick to be assigned a public defender and told him not to discuss the case at the hearing.
The judge also said he was concerned if the allegations turn out to be true.
“People should be able to reasonably disagree about politics without it resorting to violence,” Chupa said. “Using violence, whether motivated by race or politics or hatred or acrimony — I don’t care, that is not what America is about.”
Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said Wednesday that Frederick confessed to the crimes, and one additional vandalism crime, shortly after he was arrested.
Dwyer said the suspect was identified after detectives combed the area for witnesses, handed out reward flyers, maintained physical surveillance with officers in plainclothes and in marked units, and worked with the FBI to set up a pole camera in the area.
At a news conference on Sept. 11, weeks before Frederick’s arrest, Eddie Hall said the family felt violated by the attacks on their home and that his teenage daughter and son were terrified.
Candace Hall said at the news conference that the family had, however, already forgiven whoever committed the attacks and simply wanted them to stop terrorizing them and seek help.
“We pray for you,” Eddie Hall said.