No. 2 Most-Read Story of 2020: ‘Vigilante mob’ threatens Laney High senior

From left to right, Dameon Shepard, his mother Monica Shepard, and their attorney Jim Lea. (Mark Darrough/Port City Daily)

PENDER COUNTY — As part of our countdown to 2021, Port City Daily is revisiting some of its biggest stories of 2020.

Coming in second is coverage of an armed “vigilante mob” that threatened a Laney High School senior in his home in a case of mistaken identity.

The story hit national headlines from every major U.S. news outlet, likely due to its racial components (which occurred weeks before George Floyd’s death).


One of the men in the group was armed, wearing a New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office uniform. He was fired and charged with forcible trespass, breaking and entering, and a willful failure to discharge his duties as an officer of the law next week.

The fired deputy’s family later shared their side of the story, describing the group as a search party desperate to locate their young family member, who the deputy considered his sister.

Read the original article, which published May 7, below:


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