American Justice Notebook

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Kansas Man Indicted for Brandishing Firearm, Using Death Threats and Racial Slurs Against Two Black Juveniles

Officials announced Tuesday that a federal grand jury indicted a Kansas man for using guns, death threats, and racial slurs to intimidate Black people and interfere with multiple federally-protected rights.

The indictment alleges that, on July 27, 2022, Austin Schoemann, 30, of Wichita, brandished a firearm and used racial slurs to threaten two Black juveniles, Victims 1 and 2.

Officials stated that the incident occurred while the two juveniles entered a QuikTrip gasoline station.

In addition to intimidating and interfering with the two young men, Schoemann used his firearm to threaten a Black adult, Victim-3, who intervened in support of the juveniles’ federally-protected right to be free from racial discrimination when visiting a gasoline station.

The indictment also charges Schoemann with using a firearm during and in relation to these crimes of violence.

Officials stated that Schoemann faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for the firearms charges, a maximum penalty of five years in prison for the distribution of threatening messages online, and a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison for brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. 

Schoemann is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

The indictment further alleges that beginning in January 2022 and continuing through August 2022, Schoemann interfered with the federally-protected housing rights of a white woman, Victim-4, by threatening to hurt or kill any Black people who visited her home.

The indictment alleges that Schoemann made many of these threats in person and that he would stand outside of Victim-4’s house and shout threats and racial slurs on occasions when he believed she had Black visitors in her house or planned to do so.

Schoemann is also charged with two violations of using the internet to distribute videos and messages to Victim-4’s family members and others in which he repeatedly threatened to shoot and kill Black people, according to authorities.   

The FBI Kansas City Field Office investigated the case.  

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Smith for the District of Kansas and Trial Attorney Thomas Johnson of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section are prosecuting the case.