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'Maybe you like black dogs, but I don't': Racist landlords evicted woman for inviting over black family, settlement says

The Adairsville landlords admitted violently racist invective and abusive behavior in a lawsuit settlement that will see them pay out $150,000.

ADAIRSVILLE, Ga. — (note: The video that appears with story refers to a past, unrelated story)

When Victoria Sutton began inviting over a black co-worker and her 5-year-old son to play with her two young daughters, she couldn't have anticipated the violently racist reaction it would get from her landlords.

In a lawsuit settlement, the Adairsville landlords Patricia and Allen McCoy agreed to pay Sutton $150,000 and admitted a host of abusive behavior and racist invective. 

The woman, who is white, was evicted, threatened, had her belongings taken and thrown out while she wasn't home and suffered "extreme emotional distress" as her life broke apart when she was forced to move her family, according to the lawsuit.

It started on Sept. 30, 2018, after one of the play dates.

That day, according to court documents, Allen McCoy saw Sutton hug her co-worker as she and her son left. He later came knocking.

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"When Ms. Sutton opened the door, Mr. McCoy immediate accused Ms. Sutton of being a 'n***** lover,' told Ms. Sutton she should be ashamed of her self, and said that he would call Child Protective Services for having a 'n***** on their property,'" the documents state. 

It was at that point she was told she had two weeks to move out.

The court documents indicate Sutton had good reason to fight to stay: After eventually being evicted, she would have trouble finding new housing and was worried constantly about the "prospect of having to move out of Adairsville, losing her job and breaking up her family in the process." 

One of her daughters, a 9-year-old, was in special needs education, and "had difficulty receiving the specialized education services she received at her prior school" when she switched, documents stated.

She pleaded with the McCoys to let her stay, saying she had nowhere else to go. They refused.

"Mr. McCoy responded that she should have thought of that before she 'brought that n***** around,' and that her only hope of staying on the property was to talk to his wife," the documents state.

Patricia McCoy was even worse.

"I don't put up with n****** in my [house] and I don't want them in my property," she said in a call with Sutton. "Maybe you like black dogs, but I don't. So just get your stuff and get out."

Later in the call, she also said, "I don't allow n****** on my property and everybody knows that ... get out as quick as you can," according to the documents.

When Sutton implied she would take the matter before a court, McCoy told her, "No you won't, you won't be able to because I'll stomp the s*** out of you before the day is out."

The McCoys gave Sutton a 60-day eviction notice a couple weeks later. Her ordeal, however, wasn't over.

During the moving process, the court documents state, the McCoys went ot the house on a day when Ms. Sutton wasn't at the property and "discarded all the property still within the home."

The property included valuable family heirlooms and children's toys.

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"Ms. Sutton was constantly concerned for her and her family's personal safety while they were in the process of vacating the home," court documents state.

As a condition of the settlement, the McCoys admitted making the statements attributed to them in the documents and apologized for "harm and suffering" they caused to Sutton.

They admitted to violating the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act and the Georgia Fair Housing Act with their conduct.

11Alive reached out to the McCoy family for a statement on the matter, but they said over the phone they did not wish to offer a comment on the situation. 

The settlement adds that even after all that, the McCoys weren't yet done: After Sutton filed her lawsuit, the pair reportedly transferred five properties they owned to their children, in an attempt to avoid losing them if Sutton won the case.

According to the court documents, Sutton and her family now live in Calhoun.


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