Local

NH court fines Dover woman for threatening to kneel on the neck of a 9-year-old Black boy

The judge determined she violated the state's Civil Rights Act when she terrorized the boy because of his race.

A New Hampshire court ruled Wednesday that a Dover woman violated the state’s Civil Rights Act when she called a 9-year-old Black child a racial slur and threatened to kneel on his neck, according to a statement from the New Hampshire attorney general’s office.

Kristina Graper was prohibited from contacting the victim or his family and fined $2,500 with all but $500 suspended if the 51-year-old complies for three years with court orders, which include refraining from further violations of the Civil Rights Act, according to the statement.

The judge found that Graper threatened physical force against and terrorized the victim because of his race, according to the attorney general’s office.

Advertisement:

Graper’s race was not mentioned in court documents.

The court reached this conclusion after Graper defaulted by not filing a response to the attorney general’s complaint, according to the statement.

On May 10, Graper threatened the 9-year-old boy who was playing in a neighborhood park with her son, according to the complaint filed in Strafford County Superior Court.

Graper’s son pushed the boy, and that push resulted in the boy “breaking a foam missile or foam bullet” that belonged to Graper’s son.

When Graper discovered what happened, she went to the park and threatened the victim, telling him she would “kneel on his neck,” according to the complaint.

A witness told Graper that her behavior was unnecessary, and then Graper started yelling at that person. She called the child a racial slur before returning home, the complaint said.

When Graper met with police on June 1, she denied saying she would kneel on the boy’s neck, but instead said words to the effect of, “you wonder why you guys get (expletive) kneeled on,” according to the complaint.

The complaint said the encounter distressed the child, who understood the comments were a reference to the murder of George Floyd last year. The victim began to cry when he heard her words and has been afraid to return to the park, and will only do so “when other children are there to help keep him safe,” the complaint said.

Advertisement:

Last year, millions of people watched the footage of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, pleading for air as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck until he stopped breathing. Former Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted in April on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com