Courtney and Nicole Mallery are owners and farmers of a 1,000-acre ranch in eastern El Paso County, Colorado. The couple, who is Black, is claiming they are being harassed by white residents who want to push them off of their land. On Feb. 6, Courtney Mallery was arrested.
Here are five things to know about the complex battle of Black farmers in Colorado who say they are being pushed out.
The farming couple says they are the target of racial harassment online and in person, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has jumped into the battle.
The Mallerys claim, among other things, that they’ve been harassed and their property vandalized.
“We are stalked, we are harassed, we are chased, we are followed, there’s been spray paint where they put ‘n*’ on items in our home,” Nicole Mallery said, KKTV 11 News reported.
Courtney Mallery was arrested on a warrant for felony stalking. He spent the night in jail until the NAACP posted his $6,000 bond. According to jail records, Courtney Mallery was booked into the El Paso County Jail Feb. 6 on a charge of stalking. A video posted to Instagram by “black farm landowners matter” shows Mallery being taken into custody. The stalking case is tied to an apparent dispute between their neighbor Teresa Clark.
Black Americans Have the Highest Mortality Rates But Lowest Levels of Life Insurance
Are you prioritizing your cable entertainment bill over protecting and investing in your family?
Smart Policies are as low as $30 a month, No Medical Exam Required
Click Here to Get Smart on Protecting Your Family and Loves Ones, No Matter What Happens
On Feb. 7, a judge granted Clark a temporary protection order against Mallery.
Meanwhile, Clark is being charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly violating a protection order put in place on behalf of the Mallerys.
Court papers state that Clark allegedly took a photo of a camera on the Mallery’s property, based on her proximity to the Mallerys’ property Clark is accused of violating the protection order.
Courtney’s wife., Nicole, was accused of assaulting a police officer. According to online court records, Nicole pleaded guilty on July 15, 2022, to assaulting a peace officer.
Nicole was also accused of menacing, a weapons charge and false reporting, but the menacing and weapons charges were later dismissed. Nicole pleaded guilty to false reporting and providing false identification.
She was arrested on April 21, 2021, and pleaded guilty on June 15 of 2022. The case was reopened Dec. 20, 2022, KKTV 11 News reported.
CBS News Colorado has asked the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office for documents about the farmers and their legal battle. The police, as of this posting, have yet to make them public, but did tell the news outlet that in the past two years, they’ve responded to more than “170 calls for service that involve the individuals in the article.”
According to the Mallerys, white residents have been terrorizing their Colorado farm to push them off of their land.”
The Mallerys charged that immediately after taking ownership of their land, they began having problems with their white neighbors, Teresa and Bonnie Clark. The Black farming couple also believes some of their animals were poisoned on their property and that they’re under “KKK assault.”
Black U.S. farmers have lost 90 percent of their land in the last century. This amounts to an estimated $250 billion to $350 billion in accumulated wealth and income, according to the Land Loss and Reparations Project.
At their peak, in the 1920s, there were 949,889 Black farmers. Today, just 1.3 percent or 45,508 of the country’s 3.4 million farmers are Black, according to new figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Black farmers own less than 1 percent (0.52 percent) of America’s farmland. By comparison, 95 percent of U.S. farmers are white.
In this June 25, 2018, file photo, Tyrone Grayer, left, and David Allen Hall inspect a soybean plant at their farm in Parchman, Miss. A judge is ordering settlement talks in a lawsuit filed by Black farmers from Mississippi and Tennessee including Hall and Grayer, who claim Stine Seed Co. sold them faulty soybean seeds because of their race. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz, File)