A man questioned for planting a toy target on the lawn of a Keith Caldwell, a Nashville pastor and NAACP chapter president, told police he thought the very obvious target was a “flower” and that it would look pretty.
While Keith thought the incident was racially motivated, he now believes the man meant no harm.
Roy E. Brown, 63, was recorded on surveillance camera “reaching over Caldwell’s fence and placing the target in his yard at 4:35 p.m. Saturday,” Nashville police said in a statement on Monday. Police issued him a misdemeanor citation.
Caldwell had reported the gesture as a threat when he came home and found it inside his locked gate on Saturday evening.
At first police didn’t take the incident seriously, but when Caldwell pushed the issue, they investigated. They found Brown on a street corner.
“Brown told detectives that he has known Caldwell for a number of years and thought the plastic game target resembled a flower that would look nice in Caldwell’s yard,” Nashville police said.
At the time, Caldwell said he was not sure it was a racist incident. Now he is sure it wasn’t.
“The person who left the bullseye target on my front lawn has been apprehended by the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD),” he wrote on Facebook in an update. “He appears to have mental health issues. I am advocating for the case to be heard in mental health court. And, if deemed appropriate, that he receive mental health treatment.”
While Caldwell signed a state misdemeanor citation to prosecute Brown for intimidation, he means to use the August court date to help Brown get assistance, he told NBC News. He said he believes Brown is homeless.
Caldwell is in separate discussions with police over their initial handling of the case. The responding officer, Eric McCoy, and Caldwell are going to meet in a mediation session this weekend, police said.
“I feel an enormous sense of relief that the threat has been identified!” Caldwell wrote about Brown’s admission. “I am deeply-grateful for the outpouring of support that the community has shown me during this time of personal upheaval. From the information I have, this event does not appear to be a racialized act.”
Hmm… Maybe we need more information about their relationship — because this doesn’t sound right at all.